Niti Aayog, land act bring Oppn together

Niti Aayog, land act bring Oppn together

Cong calls for unity against centralising power

After religious conversions, the aggressive push of Modi government for reforms, including restructuring of the Planning Commission has given the fractured Opposition an issue to close ranks.

Sensing an opportunity to put the NDA government on the mat, the Congress has given a call for unity to corner Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “centralising power”.

The changes to the Land Acquisition Act and the restructuring of the Planning Commission have emerged as potent issues that have enabled the Opposition to come together.

“We will reach out to other parties in the interest of Opposition unity,” a senior Congress leader said when asked about the party’s strategy to corner the issue.

Both the Left and the Congress saw the creation of NITI Aayog as a move to
centralise power in the Prime Minister’s Office. “The National Development Council is replaced by a Governing Council which is a powerless body of a think tank. That think tank will be under the Prime Minister and the PMO,” the CPM Politburo said in a statement.

The Trinamool Congress and the NDA constituent PMK have also attacked the Centre on the restructuring of the Planning Commission. The Congress also spoke on similar lines dubbing the creation of NITI Aayog a “direct attack on the federal structure” and a move to undermine the Constitution.

“Such move is not only wrong but also dangerous,” AICC spokesman Ajoy Kumar said.
The Congress is already drawing up plans to take up the twin issues in Parliament and hopes other political parties too would join in.

“The Congress would oppose every move to dilute Land Acquisition Act…all political parties who are pro-farmer must come together to oppose it,” AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said. However, the BJD, which has 20 members in the Lok Sabha, and the SP and the BSP who can tilt the scales in the Opposition’s favour in the Rajya Sabha, have remained silent.

A united Opposition had derailed the Modi government’s legislative agenda in the recently concluded Winter Session of Parliament. The Centre displayed its resolve of going ahead with the reforms by promulgating several Ordinances for the bills that were stalled by the Opposition.

The reasons for disruptions during the Winter Session were the inflammatory statements made by a Union minister and BJP MPs as also the issue of religious re-conversions spearheaded by the Sangh Parivar.