Free Press Journal

Sonia Gandhi ‘misleading’ people on Land bill issue: Nitin Gadkari


Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi: Hitting back at Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the Land bill issue, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari today accused her of “misleading” the country and alleged that UPA government’s policies had resulted in unemployment and farmers suicide. Responding to a letter by Gandhi, Gadkari, who is a key government pointsperson on the controversial bill, said not a single acre of land was acquired under the land acquisition law brought out by the UPA for irrigation and other rural and social infrastructure projects and farmers remained dependent on rains all the time.

In her letter to Gadkari, the Congress chief had rejected his offer for a dialogue, saying it was a “mockery” as the BJP regime had unilaterally imposed the land ordinance. Dubbing the bill as anti-farmer, she had accused the government of “bending over backwards” to favour industrialists. Replying to criticism over the move to keep various projects out of the purview of social impact assessment, Gadkari said, “the UPA government willingly created a system in which big land acquisition projects were out of the assessment while welfare projects run by state governments were mired in it”.

“Under your land law, government and private firms which are allocated coal blocks can acquire thousands of acres of land without RPT without doing social impact assessment but states would have to go through this complex exercise if they need one acre of land for a school or hospital and rural road. “Will it be proper?… The Maharashtra Chief Minister belonging to your party had then sought that such a bill be studied by a group of chief ministers. But UPA did not find it appropriate to evolve a consensus among its own CMs,” Gadkari said in his letter.

The amendments brought out by the Modi government were in line with the suggestions which were made by chief ministers during a consultation exercise on June 27, 2014, he said. “In your letter, you have tried to mislead the country over the Electricity Act 2003 as well,” he said.