Land Bill: Govt braces for opposition onslaught

Land Bill: Govt braces for opposition onslaught

A showdown between the government and the Opposition is likely over the controversial land bill in Lok Sabha with the Congress insisting that it wants "no changes" in the 2013 Land Act even as ministers held consultations with political parties to find a way out.

After a meeting of leaders of parties, sources in the government said that notwithstanding the stiff opposition of Congress, government will move ahead with consideration and passage of the bill today for which eight hours have been allocated for discussion.

"We do not want any changes in the 2013 Land bill brought by the UPA," said Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

Asked whether his party is open to amendments being brought out by the government to take the concerns of stakeholders about land bill on board, Kharge said, "Where is the question of accepting amendments when we are saying that there should be no changes in the previous bill."

Sources in the government indicated that while Congress sticks to its stand, the House will take up the discussion and government will take into account the amendments being moved other Opposition parties.

"We will continue discussions," said Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu after the meeting when asked whether the stalemate has been broken over the land bill and what was the outcome of it.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Naidu and Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh were among those from the government side while the Opposition leaders, who participated in the meeting included Kharge, B Mahtab from BJD, D Raja from CPI and Derek 'O' Brien from Trinamool Congress.

Later, the ministers are learnt to have briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the ongoing discussions on the issue.

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