Congress gives notice for suspension of Question Hour in Rajya Sabha

PTI
Published Feb 24, 2015, 1:30 am IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 6:16 pm IST
Congress discussed the issue with other parties to launch a ‘coordinated attack’ on the government
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma. (Photo: PTI)
 Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: In the first salvo against the government in Parliament on the land acquisition ordinance, Congress today gave a notice for suspension of Question Hour in Rajya Sabha tomorrow to discuss the contentious measure, calling it "anti-farmer".

Deputy Leader of Congress in the Upper House Anand Sharma, who gave the notice under Rule 267 seeking suspension of the Question Hour and a discussion on the ordinance, said that the party cannot remain silent on this matter and is "bound to oppose" the measure.

 

Sources in the party said that Congress has discussed the issue with the Left, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (U) to launch a "coordinated attack" on the government on the issue.

"It is a retrogade measure and destroys the national consensus on the issue. The government's intentions are questionable in this matter. It is against the interest of farmers and removes the safeguards against unnecessary acquisition especially of multi-crop land, determination of public purpose and food security issues," Sharma said.

He rued that the government is embarking on an ordinance route and undermining the national consensus on land issue at a time when the country is in an agrarian distress.

 

At the AICC briefing, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Congress will oppose the land ordinance in clear terms, though he appeared indicating that the party may not adopt a similar tough stance against the ordinance on insurance.

"We are ready to offer constructive support but our support and cooperation should not be taken for granted. There are issues, which are very dear to us.

"We will rise to oppose with full vigour if there is slightest assault on those ideas, which Congress has nurtured and cherished. One such idea is land ordinance issue," the Congress spokesperson said.

 

Singhvi said that Congress was "amazed" that BJP brought an ordinances doing away with the provisions of the earlier land law, which it had supported in Parliament in 2013.

Alleging that the ordinance "fundamentally alters" the provision of consent requirement by farmers and social impact assessment, Singhvi said, "We cannot remain silent as the fundamentals of the land law have been changed. The government should immediately withdraw it or we will oppose it."

To questions about the ordinances on insurance and in other sectors, he said that the approach has to be issue-specific and bill-specific but "in the land act, the ordinance is a direct subterfuge".

 

He said that while there may still be some difference on opinion but the "opposition is not on the fundamental structure of change" on the insurance ordinance. "Our stand will depend on the degree and merit of each case," he said.

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