The term of the joint parliamentary panel (JPC) on the controversial Land Acquisition Bill on Monday was extended till the last day of the Winter session (December 23), amid protests by the Opposition. The extension is a clear indication that the Bill will now not be taken up in the Winter session.

Soon after the Question Hour, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that panel chairman SS Ahluwalia had sought a fresh extension as the committee was unable to finalise the report.

This sparked protests from Congress, CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress members.

Congress leader in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, questioned why the panel’s term was being extended when the Prime Minister had clearly said that the issue of land acquisition would be left to the States and the government would not re-promulgate the ordinance. “Are you keeping the Bill,” he asked. The ordinance had lapsed on August 31.

In reply, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that at a NITI Aayog meeting, some States had felt that they should be allowed to frame land acquisition laws.

He said the Centre itself has not taken a decision in this regard and the Union Cabinet will take a final view after the JPC submits its report.