House panel on Land Bill seeks extension after stormy meeting

AM Jigeesh | | Updated on: Jan 22, 2018

Sign of things to expect ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament

A Parliamentary panel on the Land Acquisition Bill has decided to seek an extension till the end of the upcoming Winter Session at a meeting that witnessed uproarious scenes, indicating what could be in stock in the coming days.

The Congress and the Trinamool Congress protested against the Centre’s “indifference” to the Joint Select Committee and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be summoned before the panel to explain his statement that States can frame their own laws on the controversial subject.

Opposition members said the Prime Minister’s statement, made in his customary ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address, was against Parliamentary practices. “The panel is going through this crucial Bill. He said the government is withdrawing the amendments and urged States to frame their own laws. He gave an open call to by-pass Parliamentary procedures,” an Opposition member told BusinessLine .

They argued that there was a precedence of Ministers appearing before joint panels on crucial issues to give their opinions. The BJP, Shiv Sena and BJD members, however, opposed the suggestion. They argued that the statement was made outside Parliament and the panel is not bound to consider it. “Nothing has been made available to the panel. We will work according to the brief given to us by Parliament,” a ruling alliance member said.

The panel finally decided to request the Prime Minister’s Office to submit its view about the Bill. It also decided to seek another extension till the end of the Winter Session.

The Congress’ move to create a scene in the meeting is being seen as a tactic to consolidate the Opposition on the issue. The party had met President Pranab Mukherjee with the leaders of 14 other parties demanding the withdrawal of the Bill.

Published on November 23, 2015
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