Every Word Removed From Land Act Will Have to Stand Scrutiny: Cong

New Delhi
Every Word Removed From Land Act Will Have to Stand Scrutiny: Cong

Congress today slammed government over the Ordinance to amend Land Acquisition Act within a week after end of Parliament session and said every word changed in the law brought by the UPA will have to stand scrutiny of Parliament during the Budget session.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi also alleged that the government was effecting privatisation in railways through "stealth" and attacked it for "complete zig zag and lack of coherence" on notifying rules allowing 100 percent FDI in railways.

"If you want to correct something, there is a method to it...They (government) are scared and afraid of public accountability. I condemn it," he told reporters, adding "Ordinance Raj cannot last beyond the budget session."

Asked whether Congress supports amendments being brought to the Act through the Ordinance, he said, "There is no blanket answer (to it). Individual clauses can be examined by any government. The issue is of legislation of vital matters like Land Acquisition by stealth and ordinance. How can we support that?"

The Union Cabinet approved the Ordinance to amend the Land Acquisition Act today.

Singhvi asserted that "every word" changed in the bill brought by the previous Congress-led government will have to stand Parliament's scrutiny in the next session.

Alleging a "hiatus" between the words and deeds of Modi government on the issue of privatisation of railways, he drew attention to different remarks made by the Prime Minister on the issue during last one year.

Accusing him of "trying to pull wool over the eyes of people" and making "casual and irresponsible" statements on the issues of privatisation in railways, the spokesperson said the time has come that Congress releases another booklet on "U-turns" of the government.

Releasing a paper, which cited remarks made by Modi in March 2013 and November 2014 in favour of privatisation in railways, Singhvi said while Modi made a strong pitch for privatisation of railways then, he "ruled out" the same while speaking in his constituency in Varanasi on December 25 this year.

Suggesting that there was a "disconnect", the Congress spokesman said the government notified in August rules to allow 100 per cent FDI in railways but still Modi claimed in Varanasi last week that there is a "misunderstanding that Railways is being privatised...We are not privatising Railways".

He questioned "this constantly fast-changing stand" and said "Apart from misleading...This is also again a subterfuge of privatisation by stealth and non-transparency. Without claiming that it is privatisation, Modi is privatising every aspect of the ralways."

Singhvi claimed, "It seems that barring the uniform of the man driving the train, the guard and the logo and name of Indian Railways, everything has been privatised. They have extended the meaning of FDI. As if Government of India's Railways being run by private sector."

The Congress spokesperson also demanded that BJP should expel its MP from Akola (Maharashtra) Sanjay Dhotre over his controversial remarks that 'let the farmers die'.

"Even a lay man will not make such remarks. How can an MP, who is an elected representative of people say this? This person should be outrightly expelled by him party," Singhvi said.

Dhotre has claimed his remark was taken out of context.

Replying to questions about BJP banking on Modi for Delhi elections expected in few months, Singhvi quipped, "does Modi want to be Chief Minister or MLA? He and people have to decide."

At the same time, he said the "Modi-wave is gradually receding and will be over".

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