'Vishwanath has spoken irresponsibly'

Minister Srinivas Prasad reacts to former MP's statements on Land Acquisition Act

 Revenue and District in-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad has sharply reacted to former MP A H Vishwanath’s criticism that he was not opposing the proposed amendments to the Land Acquisition Act.

He was replying to questions posed by media persons, here, on Tuesday, during his visit to supervise the arrangements for the inaugural function of Ambedkar Bhavan and unveiling of Ambedkar’s statue, scheduled to be held on February 8. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is expected to attend the function.

Responsible posts

Pointing out that Vishwanath had held responsible posts such as MLA, MP and minister, Prasad said, however, he had never seen Vishwanath speak responsibly.

“His recent statement is the height of irresponsibility. He should not speak like a layman. The ammendments to the Act were effected by the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. As the government changed after the election, it could not be passed. Now, the BJP-led NDA government has to enact it. The President has passed an ordinance as it could not be passed by the Parliament and it has been published in the Gazette,” Prasad said.

Compensation

“Now, the Act is law. Nobody can disobey it. The Act relaxes rules for land acquisition for industries, housing and public services. The farmers get 1:2 compensation in urban areas and 1:4 compensation in rural areas. If the farmers find the compensation inadequate, they can challenge the acquisition in the court. As the Revenue Minister of the State, I have to act responsibly. I cannot issue statements like a layman. Instead of issuing an ordinance, the Centre should have passed it in the Parliament. I will initiate a discussion on the issue in the Cabinet meeting and also in the Assembly Session. Opinion of legal experts will be sought in this regard,” he said.

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