Ruckus in Rajya Sabha over land ordinance

New Delhi: Facing flak from a united Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Government today expressed its intent to hold discussion with all parties to find a way out on the new land bill to replace the contentious ordinance on the issue.

As members from Congress, Left, Trinamool Congress, SP, BSP and JD-U targetted the government over provisions of the land ordinance calling it "anti-farmer" and aimed at "benefitting corporates", Leader of the House Arun Jaitley assured them that he would convey the suggestion to the concerned minister to "hold discussions with parties" on the issue.

The House resumed its normal business at noon after the Finance Minister's assurance following a heated discussion which went on for an hour.

Jaitley's remarks came in response to the comments of Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav, who said the government should talk to all parties and find a way out so that farmers' interests are protected while development activities are carried out.

Yadav said that while it is true that at times acquiring land becomes difficult but a way should have been found out through discussions. "You should have taken the Opposition into confidence," he said.

"I do not want a deadlock in Parliament. You talk to all parties and find a way out," he said. K C Tyagi from JD-U also supported Yadav's demand for a discussion on the issue at an all-party meet. Jaitley later said that Yadav has made some suggestions in the right spirit. "Responding in the same spirit, I will convey his suggestions to the minister concerned to have discussion with parties."

Deputy Leader of Congress Anand Sharma said that since Government has acknowledged the need to consult all parties, "he (Jaitley) should go a step further" and say that "till consultations are completed, the ordinance will remain suspended". To this, Jaitley was seen waving his hand indicating a negative response.

Soon after obituary references and listed papers laid on the table in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma (Cong) said Congress and three other parties have given a notice under rule 267 for suspension of the business as the government has bypassed Parliament to amend a law that was passed in 2013 through consensus of all parties including BJP.

Responding to this, Jaitley said 639 ordinances had been promulgated since Independence, of which 80 per cent under Congress rule.

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