Rahul accuses Modi govt of 'lying' to the nation over landbill

Last Updated 26 May 2015, 16:53 IST

Hitting out at Narendra Modi government over the land acquisition bill, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today termed as the 'biggest lie' that non-availablity of land was a major impediment for undertaking development projects.

"The government is linking the land to 'Make-in-India' programme," he said addressing a huge rally of Youth Congress workers at Kozhikode beach here.

Gandhi alleged that the NDA government 'due to some reason' was in a hurry to bring in the Land Acquisition bill by making drastic changes in the legislation brought by the previous UPA Government.

He also attacked the government's claim of eliminating corruption in the last one year, saying that the main institutions that can expose corruption-- RTI and Central Vigilance Commission, were 'headless'.

"The BJP government for some reason is in a very big hurry to change the land law," he said adding that the logic put forward by the government was 'confusing'.

He said their argument was that they want to give jobs to youngsters and that the land law needs to be changed for that purpose. They had also said that the single biggest impediment for the 'Make-in-India' campaign is the land bill.

"So they are saying to youths, farmers and labourers let us take away your land from you. When you give us your land, we will give you jobs in return", he said.

The NDA government's argument that non-availability of land was the main impediment for implementation of projects under the Make-in-India Campaign 'is the biggest lie' being told to youths, farmers and labourers in the country, he said.

Going into it in detail, he said actually as per RTI information from the Finance Ministry, only eight per cent of the projects had been blocked because of land related issues.
"So the argument that non-availability of land is the hurdle for development projects for job creation is biggest lie", he said.

"In the new bill, consent of farmers was not needed for acquisition, he said. Similarly, the provision to have Social Impact Study of the land taken had also been removed, he said.

Changes in the provision that land should be returned to farmers if the project was not started in five years 'clearly showed the intention' of the NDA government', he added.

Taking a dig at the BJP government, which is celebrating one year in office, Gandhi said 'officialy on behalf of the Congress, I am wishing the 'suit boot ki sarkar' a happy birthday".

He also warned the government that it would not be able to celebrate its fifth birthday if it functions like present, ignoring problems of farmers, labourers and the poor and said NDA should 'stop oratory and start action'.

Attacking Modi for wearing "a Rs 10 lakh suit," Rahul said it showed how 'insensitive' the PM was towards the problems of farmers and the poor in the country.

"In a country where farmers commit suicide, labourers work day and night, people's representative of the country wears a Rs 10 lakh worth suit. I do not think any other Prime Minister of the country, including Vajpayee, wore such a costly dress', he said.

On his description of the Modi government as 'suit boot ki sarkar', Gandhi said that the first reason of course was the Prime Minister's fascination for clothes. "He is being described as a fashion icon. That is a good thing."

.... Farmers and labourers told me they do not mind their Prime Minister wearing clothes or changing clothers regularly. What they did not like was the fact that a Prime Minister, possibly for a first time, had worn a suit worth Rs 10 lakh," he said.

Gandhi said many told him ...'you defined it perfectly as suit boot ki sarkar and this is the best definition'.

The Congress leader alleged the government does not care for the people of the country. But Congress believed in protecting the interests of farmers, labourers and ensuring that they too have a future, he claimed.

He criticised the PM's frequent foreign visits  said the Prime Minister, however, did not visit any poor man's house.

(Published 26 May 2015, 16:28 IST)

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