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Oppn playing obstructionist politics, sold land to private builders when in power: Gadkari

New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday accused the Opposition parties of playing "obstructionist" politics by resisting the land acquisition Bill and said some of these parties had "sold prime lands" to private builders when they were in power.

 Oppn playing obstructionist politics, sold land to private builders when in power: Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari slammed Opposition for criticising the land bill. PTI

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, speaking at a Kisan Rally organised in New Delhi by the party's Delhi unit, hit out at Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party while he also sought to "relieve" the farmers of "misapprehensions" that he claimed was created by the opposition parties.

"This Bill is pro-farmer and Congress party is playing an obstructionist by opposing this Bill...But, I must tell you, these are double standards. Lands in Noida, worth several lakhs of rupees per acre, were sold to private builders at lower rate by Mayawati government, and now she is opposing it.

"Lands worth several lakhs of rupees per acre were sold by Mulayam Singh Yadav government to private builders at cheaper rates and now he (Mulayam) is opposing it," Gadkari alleged.

He claimed the then BS Hooda government in Haryana gave away lands and "did not even compensate properly and now he is preparing for a rally against this bill...Ye to wahi hai, ulta chor kotwal ko daante (So, now, look who's talking)."

The land Bill has been passed by Lok Sabha with nine amendments and Gadkari said BJP was "open to new changes" in it provided it came from farmers only.

Seeking to allay the apprehensions of farmers over what he termed a "negative campaign" by the Opposition, Gadkari said, "we have made all provisions to make this bill in the interest of the country and in the interest of the farmers."

"For defence production and matters concerned with national security, we have kept it out of the consent and special economic assessment clauses," he said.

"If we have to keep missiles underground and do some work on defence grounds and of 80 per cent people do not approve, then we will not be able to ensure national security, and, so, we have taken that decision," he added.

The Union Road Transport and Highway Minister addressed a rather sparse crowd. He was scheduled to speak at 5 pm at Dwarka Grounds but arrived three hours late.

"Second thing is the rural infrastructure or social infrastructure...And, you tell me, if we want to build roads under PMGSY or install tubewells and water pumps, should such work be hampered because we do not have approval of 80 percent of the people," Gadkari said.

"So, we are keeping the consent clause out of this (rural infrastructure) as well...Besides, the acquisitions will not be for private companies," he added.

The Land Bill is now awaiting its approval in Rajya Sabha where BJP does not enjoy a majority.

Up in arms against the legislation since the outset, Opposition Congress is already gearing up to hold a huge protest rally at the Ramlila Maidan here against it on 19 April.

He further said, in the Bill, "it was being provisioned to compensate the farmers family with jobs. Besides, there is the one km-long corridor on each side of the highway for industrial growth. It is pro-farmer and not anti-farmer as the Opposition claims."

"We do not want farmers to die of suicide if their land doesn't yield product. We want them to provide options," he said.

The rally was also attended by several top leaders of the BJP including five MPs - Manoj Tiwari, Parvesh Singh Verma, Meenakshi Lekhi, Ramesh Bidhuri, Mahesh Giri, who also addressed the crowd, which thinned out later in the evening since Gadkari's arrival got delayed.

"The purpose of the rally is to let people know the good aspects of the Bill, about which the Opposition is trying to spread negative word," Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay said.

Lekhi alleged that people opposing the bill were like the "modern India'a landlords (zamindars)."

PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 16, 2015 08:44:02 IST