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Modi government takes steps to pass diluted land acquisition bill in Lok Sabha

The govt is making a last-ditch effort to get the diluted land bill passed at least in the Lok Sabha in the last week of the monsoon session.

Aug 05, 2015, 07.17 AM IST
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The government is making a last-ditch effort to get the diluted land bill passed at least in the Lok Sabha in the last week of the monsoon session.
The government is making a last-ditch effort to get the diluted land bill passed at least in the Lok Sabha in the last week of the monsoon session.
NEW DELHI: The government is making a last-ditch effort to get the diluted land acquisition bill passed at least in the Lok Sabha in the last week of the monsoon session. The effort coincided with behind-the-scene moves of some regional parties to persuade the Speaker to explore the possibility of the Chair revoking the suspension of 25 Congress MPs for five working days. There are hints that this nascent ‘peace mission’ by parties such as the AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, BJD, SP and NCP has the tacit backing of at least sections of the government.

The efforts gathered pace after the BJP accepted Congress’ demand for cancelling Tuesday’s scheduled meeting of the House joint panel to finalise its reports on amendments to the bill as one of its committee members, Rajeev Satav, was among the suspended MPs. This, however, meant that the next meeting of the committee had to be rescheduled for August 10, when the suspended MP would be back. That will leave just four days for the bill to be passed, with the session slated to end on August 13. The term of the panel, hence, had to be extended again, as its already extended term was to end on August 7.

During the zero hour in the Lok Sabha, with the Congress and eight other Opposition parties boycotting the House, AIADMK floor leader P Venugopal tried to speak on the suspension, but the Speaker prevented him from doing so. She prevented similar efforts by BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy too. Later, their remarks were expunged from the records.

Sources said the efforts of these MPs gave hints of what their parties, along with Trinamool and SP, were trying to do. The government and Congress leaders are at least aware of it, if not informally involved in the exercise.

With the government agreeing to buy peace within the panel and among opponents of the proposed bill by reversing contentious amendments, sources said BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab floated the idea of invoking a particular rule to wave the 48-hour notice required to bring the bill to the Lok Sabha next week. The panel will aim to finalise its report with unanimous amendments by August 10 or 11 and help the House adopt the report and enable the government to bring the amended bill for passage in the remaining 2-3 days. Once the diluted bill is passed by the Lok Sabha, the government is likely to re-promulgate the ordinance after the session, in accordance with the latest bill passed by the Lok Sabha.

The peace efforts remained confined to the Lok Sabha and Congress seems determined to block the functioning of the Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha passed a bill to strengthen provisions to prevent atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The bill seeks to add new offences by amending the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

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