Free Press Journal

Opposition accuses government of thrusting its legislative agenda


New Delhi: The controversial land ordinance and the related bill are to be taken up in the Lok Sabha next week, a proposal the opposition attacked accusing the government of thrusting its legislative agenda on the House. As soon as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy read out a statement regarding government business for next week, Congress member Jyotiraditya Scindia protested, saying the land acquisition bill and the one relating to land border agreement with Bangladesh were not discussed in the Business Advisory Committee meeting yesterday.

“On what basis is the government bringing the bills when they were not discussed in BAC…it is better you disband the BAC. You should also disband Parliamentary Committees as they have lost relevance,” he said.

Saugata Roy (TMC) and Tathagata Satpathy (BJD) supported Scindia’s contention saying the government should work in a transparent manner and not in a “hush hush” way. Rudy said what was discussed in the BAC has already been tabled in the House and what he read out was government’s plan on proposed legislations. He said the bills can be brought to Lok Sabha only after the BAC allocates time.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the BAC report and the report on government business were two separate things which are being tabled in the House “week after week”. “But only this time confusion has arisen in your mind,” he said.

Not satisfied with Jaitley’s clarification, Scindia said when the issue of the land bill and the land border agreement was broached in the BAC meeting, the government said there were no plans at present.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the two reports are separate which have been tabled in the House and the matter should rest there. The BAC meeting will be held next week where the issues should figure, she said.

The government will have to bring a fresh bill on land acquisition in the Lok Sabha as it had recently re-promulgated an ordinance on the issue. The land border agreement bill, brought by the previous UPA government, is pending with Rajya Sabha.