New Delhi: The government will not compromise on the core of land ordinance but will consider “meaningful suggestions” to remove difficulties of farmers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today.
Making it clear that the government's next priority after the presentation of the Union Budget tomorrow is to convert the six ordinances into Acts, Naidu indicated that the ordinances on which there are relatively less differences could be pushed first.
There are lesser differences on the Ordinances concerning e-rickshaw and citizenship.
“Replacing ordinances is the next priority of the government... We will not compromise on the core of the (land) ordinance. But is there is any practical difficulty being faced by the farmers, we will take that into account... if there are some meaningful suggestions, they will be considered,” Naidu said, ruling out the opposition charge that the land ordinance was “anti-farmer”.
At the same time, Naidu repeatedly pointed to the remarks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue, who today said that if the Opposition felt that there are still any shortcomings, he was ready for any changes in it. “Our line is same what the Prime Minister has said,” Naidu said.
The government is rushing against time to convert the six ordinances into Acts before March 28, when the first phase of the Budget session ends. The Ordinances have to be converted into Acts before April 5.
Sources in the government said that consultations with political parties are already one on the land ordinance issue, though no formal all-party meeting is planned at present.
Notwithstanding the shortage of numbers that the government faces in Rajya Sabha and the strong protest by a united Opposition on the land issue, the government indicated that it will “not shy away” from taking up the bills in the House.
A senior government minister indicated that if no consensus emerged, the government could consider re-promulgating some of the ordinances.
“Congress has set many precedents in past. It had re-promulgated an ordinance 14 times in past,” said a minister, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Modi, while replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, said his government wanted to make changes in the Land Act passed during the UPA tenure because all the Chief Ministers had said it was against farmers' interest and hampered development and infrastructure creation.
“Please think about farmers, they want irrigation and infrastructure. You made such a law which is against farmers' interest... Can we ignore farmers interest? Is it not our responsibility to correct the mistake, if any? Whatever you have done, we are not rejecting it. Do not weigh this in the balance of politics,” Modi said.