Khandwa: Reaching out to the Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he was ready to remove anything that was anti-farmer in the land bill and "publicly prayed" to the detractors not to stall the legislation in the Rajya Sabha where NDA is in a minority.
"I have told all the parties in the Rajya Sabha that I am not anti-farmer. If there is anything anti-farmer in my statements then tell me. I am ready to remove it, but they don't tell (me). They don't want to allow the government to function and don't want the country to progress further."
"It is a fact that we don't have a majority in the Rajya Sabha. It is not possible for us to carry out developmental works without your support. I publicly pray to you not to stop the country's vehicle of development through that majority," Modi said, after dedicating to the nation two units of 600 MW each of Shri Singaji Thermal Power Plant in the district.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of two units of 660 MW each under the project's second phase.
Criticising the land bill earlier passed by the UPA government, Modi said, "The law that was passed by earlier government has no provision for allotment of land for schools, hospitals, houses, water and irrigation. I ask you whether you need all these facilities or not."
He had asked the opposition to suggest ways to improve the current land bill, but it did not respond, he claimed.
"I am not anti-farmer. We will never oppose farmers. I asked other parties to tell me what to improve, but they don't say anything," the Prime Minister said.
The poor need hospitals, schools, roads, homes, water, power and irrigation facilities, he said, adding "...The previous government refused to give land for hospitals, roads, schools and houses. The previous government enacted a law that would not enable farmers to get irrigation."
Hailing the Union Budget for 2015-16, the Prime Minister said it has provisions for the welfare of all sections of the society.
Development, especially that of the power generation capacity, was absolutely necessary for the growth of the country, Modi said.
Appealing the people to conserve power, Modi said that it was necessary for the bright future of the next generation.
"Think of ways to conserve electricity. It is very important for our children. Nearly 20 percent of people don't have access to electricity," he said.
Highlighting the importance of electricity, he said, "It is not only the houses that light up, but also lives light up, dreams light up and the future lights up when there is electricity."
Energy had played a big role in the progress of mankind and without electricity, dreams can't be fulfilled, the Prime Minister said, while pointing out that a large number of villages in India still have no access to power.
"Who are these people? They are not the rich, but the poor. To keep someone away from energy is like dragging that person to the stone age," he remarked.
On the occasion, Modi greeted the people for Holi festival and also wished Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on his 56th birthday.
Union Energy Minister Piyush Goyal and Chouhan also addressed the function.