Land bill: Cong unrelenting, govt faces an uphill task
The Opposition may have allowed passage of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, with the Congress backing it and parties like SP, BSP and JD(U) offering tacit support by staging a strategic walkout, but the government may find a united opposition putting up a roadblock once again in Rajya Sabha when it comes to the land acquisition bill.
The land bill is unlikely to come up next week as the Congress, sources said, did not play ball with the government which tried to gauge the Opposition mood broaching the topic at the Business Advisory Committee meeting Thursday. The Congress made it clear that the land bill cannot be taken up next week. Consequently, no time was allotted for the bill and party leaders appeared confident that it will now come up in Rajya Sabha only when Parliament reconvenes after the one-month break in April.
Signalling their intent, the Opposition, barring AIADMK and BJD, meanwhile are planning to march to Rashtrapati Bhawan on Tuesday to protest against changes made in the bill. JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav is coordinating the protest and Congress sources said there is a chance of party chief Sonia Gandhi joining the march by non-NDA MPs to the President’s house.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will sit on a 24-hour dharna against the Bill in Patna Saturday.
The Congress hopes the Opposition unity in Rajya Sabha which came undone on the insurance bill would be forged again. “It could be the mother of all battles,” a senior party leader said.
“Land bill is a no go area. Anybody deserting us on the land bill would be committing a political suicide,” a senior Congress leader said.
Congress leaders claimed the insurance bill could be passed smoothly because of the “tacit understanding” between some parties in the Opposition and the government. While the Congress had no opposition to the bill, it hoped the bill which was passed by Lok Sabha could be caught in technical complications since an identical bill along with a select committee report was pending in the House.
But that hope evaporated after Deputy Chairman P J Kurien ruled that a bill can be introduced in Lok Sabha even if a previous bill on the same subject is pending approval or rejection in Rajya Sabha.
Source:: Indian Express