Jairam Ramesh accuses PM Modi of spreading falsehood regarding Land Acquisition Bill

The Congress on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of spreading falsehood in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' programme which was addressed to the farmers.

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of spreading falsehood in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' programme which was addressed to the farmers.

“PM today in his Maan ki Baat programme has spread falsehood and lied in a major way. I am directly accusing him of this,” said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, as per ANI.

He also said, “I am sorry to say that he believes in falsehood.”

On his party's stand regarding the contentious Land Acquisition Bill, Ramesh maintained, “The policy of Congress is clear. Apart form the 2013 law, we do not want anything.”

Directly reaching out to farmers over Land Bill, PM Modi today asked them not to be misled by "rumours and lies" as he slammed the Opposition for trying to create confusion for "political reasons".

With the government under attack for bringing amendments to the Land Act of 2013, he insisted that the proposed new bill, which has got stuck in Rajya Sabha after passage in Lok Sabha, was an improved version for the benefit of farmers and villages.

Speaking on the issue over radio in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' programme, he said the new bill addresses "lacunae" in the earlier law which was "enacted in a hurry" but maintained that the government is willing to accommodate any more suggestion in farmers' interest.

During the 30-minute programme, the Prime Minister said the states have favoured changes in the Land Act of 2013 but if any state wants to go by the previous law, they are free to do so.

Making a veiled attack on Congress, he said, "those projecting themselves as sympathisers of farmers and undertaking protests" had been using a 120-year-old law to acquire farm land for over 60-65 years after Independence and were now targeting his government which is "trying to improve upon the Act of 2013", as per PTI.

He underlined that the new bill has the same compensation provisions as in the 2013 Act and emphatically rejected allegations that the new measure was aimed at benefiting the corporates.

He also said that 'no consent' provision in the proposed new law applies to acquisitions by government for government or PPP projects and insisted that the same clause exists in the previous Act.

"I am surprised that all kinds of misinformation is spread," the Prime Minister said, focusing on the issue over which his government has come under severe attack and uniting opposition parties which have stepped up campaign againt it.

"Our commitment is to ensure benefits for farmers through the Land Acquisition Act..So many lies are being spread..It is my fervent appeal to farmers not to make decisions on the basis of these lies. Don't be misled," he said, adding, "You trust me, I will not betray your trust."

He went on to add: "Rumours are being spread that Modi is bringing the law to reduce compensation. I can't even think of committing such a sin... Such misinformation is being carried out for political reasons. You have to guard against them."

(With Agency inputs)

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