NDA to push illegal colonies' Bill

Regularisation of city's unauthorised colonies will help fetch votes

Despite a determined opposition not allowing any business in Rajya Sabha, the NDA government is firm on passing a Bill to regularise unauthorised colonies in the capital, which will give it a big plank ahead of the Assembly polls expected in February.

Last Tuesday, Lok Sabha had unanimously passed NCT of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill 2014 that seeks to make the act expiring this month relevant for three more years. 

The Bill was listed on Monday for business by the Upper House, but with the unrelenting opposition demanding the Prime Minister to make a statement on the conversion row, it could not be transacted as planned.

The Upper House has been stalled for the sixth consecutive day as the opposition created ruckus.

Government sources said Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also holding the charge of Urban Development Minister, had an interaction with opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha chairman’s chamber.

Naidu is believed to have persuaded leaders of different opposition parties to have a debate on the Bill in morning and pass it, the failure of which would force lakhs of poor people living in slums and unauthorised colonies on to the streets next month.

It is learnt that Samajwadi Party wanted the government to leave the discussion for Tuesday, though the bill was listed for Monday, as a united opposition held a rally here to demonstrate their strength.

A senior minister said there is unanimity by and large on the issue, since scuttling the bill will cost the parties dear, bolstering Naidu’s hopes on passing it.

Allowing the BJP political advantage ahead of Delhi Assembly polls, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill with amendment that intends to extend the cut-off date for regularisation of unauthorised colonies by seven years.

Until now, the Act said that those colonies that came into existence till February 2007 would be regularise. But the amendment to push that date to June 2014, moved jointly by seven BJP MPs in Lok Sabha, was accepted by the government.

This would also readjust the date roughly to the beginning of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre. The government was taking steps to regularise over 1,200 unauthorised colonies.

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