Chandigarh: The land acquisition and food security Bills introduced recently by UPA government will change the face of the country, Union Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh, said in Chandigarh on Saturday.
"These two Bills are revolutionary and progressive and will change the face of the country," Ramesh said at a rally to mark the death anniversary of former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh.
The Land Acquisition Bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha earlier this week, seeks to replace the archaic Act of 1894.
"We hope that over the next few days, it will be passed by Rajya Sabha," he said, adding that there would be no forcible acquisition of land under the revised law.
The Bill, which seeks to provide just and fair compensation to farmers "is in favour of farmers, Dalits and tribals", Ramesh said.
Rejecting criticism of the said Bill, Ramesh said, "I feel any law which favours farmers, the weaker sections, Dalits and tribals, is in the national interest."
The Food Security Bill too was "in favour of the farmers because we have decided that the (mechanism of) Minimum Support Price will remain", he said.
Taking up allegations made by the ruling SAD-BJP combine in Punjab about the Centre's having a step-motherly attitude towards the state, Ramesh said, "There has been no discrimination against Punjab. In terms of development work, we do not do any politics."
He then lashed out at the state government for trying to take credit for many Central schemes.
"I want to state that for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, Indira Awaas Yojna... and other Central schemes, money comes from the Centre, but the credit is being taken by the state government and even photos of the Chief Minister are pasted (to promote the schemes)," he said.
Among those attending the rally were Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed, Punjab Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa and the family members of Beant Singh.