Chandigarh: Senior congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday rejected the defence put forward by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Land Acquisition Bill being brought by the NDA government.
"Modi tried to defend the indefensible and miserably failed in his attempt", he remarked.
"This was an exercise in futility as the Prime Minister failed to explain and convince the country as what was the need to replace the Land Acquisition Act brought by the previous UPA government", Capt Amarinder observed in a statement here after Modi's address to the farmers in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' programme on the All India Radio.
Referring to the Prime Minister's claim that the previous UPA government had brought the Act in hurry, the Congress leader remarked, "it is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black".
He said, the UPA government had brought in the law after thorough deliberations with all the stakeholders including the BJP which was in opposition at that time.
"Rather it is the other way round as the NDA government had shown unabashed hurry to bring in new land acquisition law by not waiting for the parliamentary approval and instead adopting the ordinance route", he pointed out, while adding, it was wrong to say that the land acquisition law in its current form as brought in by the UPA government hampered investments or development.
Ridiculing Modi for accusing the Congress of exploiting the farmers under 120-year-old exploitative land acquisition act brought by the British, Capt Amarinder remarked, "the Prime Minister had himself answered the question by referring to the 120 year old land acquisition act which was highly exploitative and to which his (the PM's) government is trying to revert, after it had been repealed and replaced by the UPA government".
He reminded the Prime Minister that 65 year period, he had referred to in his speech during which the previous act was used by the successive governments, included six years of BJP led NDA rule also and why it had not occurred to the party at that time to change it.
"Rather you are now trying to revert back to the British act yourself and undo what UPA had done to safeguard the farmers' interests", he asserted.