Millennium Post

URD Minister Birender not kept in loop on land bill?

Union Rural Development Minister Birender Singh was not kept in the loop while getting the ordinance on land bill cleared by President Pranab Mukherjee. The surprising move of the government has added fuel to the grapevine about Singh being not on  board during the course of amendments being made in the new land bill. He was absent during the consultation held by the President on the matter. However, Singh has denied that there was such a motive behind the move.

While responding to a query by Millennium Post on the issue on Friday, Birender Singh said, “If I was against the amendments in the land acquisition bill, it means I would have not been in the government”, adding that “it’s a farmer friendly bill as we have not touched any clause related to compensation.  Section 10 (A) has been incorporated in the Act to provide more powers to farmers.”

Justifying his absence in the meeting reportedly called by the President to explain the Centre’s hurry on taking the ordinance route for the land bill, Singh said, “It might have happened as I was not ‘traceable’. I might have been getting calls from the government for this particular meeting, but unfortunately it couldn’t happen.”

In the corridors of power, the buzz is that Singh was not in favour of passage of the land bill in the present form as it could ‘dent’ his pro-farmer image.

However, three senior union ministers had met the President to explain the urgency in promulgating the ordinance on land acquisition before he gave his nod to it on Wednesday.
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