Former rural development minister Jairam Ramesh tells Sanjeeb Mukherjee that the Ordinance to amend the land acquisition Act (2013) opens the door for forcible acquisition and undermines the spirit and the substance of the legislation. Edited excerpts:
An oft-repeated argument given by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to justify bringing an Ordinance to amend the land acquisition Act (2013) passed by your government is that many Congress-ruled states have objected to the provisions of the Act, although you were in power at the Centre when it was passed. What do you have to say on this?
This is absolutely untrue. In fact, the objections that the NDA government is citing supposedly from Congress-ruled states are based on the questions that they were asked during their day-long interaction with former rural development minister Nitin Gadkari. If you ask pointed questions and the replies are interpreted as “objections”, it is not an accurate description of events. In fact, what nobody knows is that the Assam government had sent a formal note dissociating itself from the amendments.
This interview was first published on January 17, 2015 at: