Land Acquisition Bill update

The government has referred the land acquisition bill to a joint committee of Parliament, paving the way for its passage in a joint sitting of Parliament after the monsoon session. Rural development minister Birender Singh moved the motion for sending the bill to the joint panel after a detailed discussion forced by the opposition.
The discussion had Rahul Gandhi lead the Congress attack on the bill, amplifying his charge that Modi government's changes to the UPA law were aimed at distributing land as largesse to crony capitalists while the Centre rejected the allegation to claim the bill was “pro farmer“. The 30-member committee will comprise 20 MPs from Lok Sabha and 10 MPs from Rajya Sabha. The panel is likely to submit its report in the first week of the monsoon session -roughly by the end of July . It will result in the convening of a joint sitting by August or September.
Sources said Congress took a late decision on joining the committee as there were two opinions in the party . While one group felt the party should not join the panel as it was against any changes to the 2013 law, the other felt Congress' absence could give the government a free run. The names of KV Thomas and Rajiv Satav were then suggested.
Though lacking numbers in the upper House, the Centre is not concerned about the defeat of the bill but is keen that it is disposed of. The conditions laid out by Parliament rules for calling a joint sitting state that it can take up a legislation which has been rejected by one of the two Houses.

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