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Land ordinance to go, PM Narendra Modi says farmers dearest

"Ready to amend land acquisition act to benefit farmers, who were subjected to misinformation leading to a lot of apprehension in their minds on the law," PM Modi said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 31, 2015 10:58:53 am
pm modi, mann ki baat, Land ordinance, modi mann ki baat, land acquisition bill PM Narendra Modi stressed that the government has an “open mind” on the land acquisition Act.

The government will allow its ordinance on the land acquisition Act to lapse on August 31, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday in his Mann ki Baat radio programme. Making a direct appeal to farmers, the PM added that he couldn’t allow anyone to create “fear” in their minds on the matter.

The decision to let the ordinance lapse follows unsuccessful attempts by the government to build a consensus in Parliament to get its amendments to the contentious land acquisition Act cleared.

READ: Congress has been exposed on Land Aquisition Bill, says Nitin Gadkari

Having earlier re-promulgated the ordinance thrice to bring changes to the 2013 law, the Modi government, in a major climb-down earlier this month, had agreed to drop most of its contentious amendments.

Modi said the suggestions to improve the Act had come from states, “which felt that if one has to benefit villages and poor farmers, to construct canals to water the fields, if we have to erect poles to bring electricity, construct roads and houses, and make available employment, we have to free this law from the clutches of bureaucracy”.

READ: Patel reservation row: Nation shocked, pained at Gujarat violence, says PM Modi 


“But I saw that so many misgivings were spread, fear was instilled in the farmer. My farmer should not have doubts and should absolutely not be scared. I don’t want to give an opportunity to anybody to scare the farmers… For me, every voice in the country is important, but the voice of the farmers has special significance,” the PM said.

Announcing that he had decided that the ordinance on the land acquisition Bill “should be allowed to expire”, Modi said, “It means restoration of the situation that prevailed before my government took over.”

At the same time, he added, “13 points” in the ordinance which are directly linked to farmer benefit would be implemented from Sunday by notifying them under the rules. “We are doing this so the farmers do not lose,” he said.

The PM stressed that the government has an “open mind” on the land acquisition Act. “I have repeatedly said that I am ready to accept any suggestion in the interest of farmers,” he said.

“My farmer brothers and sisters, there is no reason for doubt,” he added.

In the programme, Modi also referred to the recent violence surrounding the Patel quota agitation in Gujarat. Calling it “the dance of violence”, he said the entire nation was pained if the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel witnessed something like this.

“But in a short span of time, the people of Gujarat handled the situation and played an active role in stopping the situation from worsening. And Gujarat once again began its journey on the path of peace,” Modi said. “Peace, unity and brotherhood… this is the right path.”

Opposition slams ‘cruel joke’

Welcoming the PM’s announcement that the land ordinance will not be re-promulgated, the Opposition attacked the government for “wasting the time of the country” and playing a “cruel joke” on farmers.

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