New Delhi: Amid a raging debate on the controversial land bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused opposition parties of misleading people on the issue of tribal and forest land saying such a campaign will hurt the interests of the country.

He said tribal and forest land do not come under the ambit of the land bill and are protected by separate laws.

“The land bill has no mention there is no word on tribal and forest land in the bill. The tribals and their land do not come under the ambit of the land bill. Still, people who lack knowledge run this (campaign) 24 hours. They do not know,” Modi said.

He said there are efforts to “mislead” society on the issue. “For you it must be a small issue, a matter of your political principles, but do realise how much will it is hurting the country,” he said addressing a conference of state environment and forest ministers in New Delhi.

He said the ongoing campaign must end. “A debate based on facts and truth is welcome. Afterall it is a democracy. But when truth lacks weight, you spread lies. A country is not run like this,” he said.

Modi’s remarks cam against the backdrop of government trying to build a consensus on the land bill in Rajya Sabha where NDA lacks numbers.

The land bill, which cleared the Lok Sabha with nine official amendments, faces a tough task in Rajya Sabha. An ordinance on land promulgated earlier was to lapse on April 5.

It was repromulgated last week since it could not be converted into an Act by Parliament in the ongoing Budget session. BJP has asked its MPs and senior leaders to explain to the people the benefits of amending the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act brought by the previous UPA government.

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