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Opposition members want PM to appear before land bill committee

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Congress and Trinamool Congress members of the joint parliamentary committee, examining the land acquisition bill, on Monday suggested winding up the panel as the government wanted states to amend the Land Act of 2013.

The members also suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi appear before the panel.

Trinamool Congress and Congress members said an ordinance to amend the Land Act has lapsed and the bill brought by the National Democratic Alliance should be withdrawn, sources said.

A Trinamool Congress member referred to the `Mann ki Baat’ radio broadcast of the prime minister in August last year in which he had said that the land ordinance would not be re-promulgated.

The Trinamool Congress member said the bill of the government was identical to the ordinance.

Sources said members of the Trinamool Congress and Congress also demanded the prime minister should appear before the panel but the BJP members opposed the demand.

They said the panel’s chairman S. S. Ahluwalia suggested that the panel seek an extension till the end of parliament’s winter session (from November 26 to December 23)to submit its report.

Modi had said in his radio programme that the government would not re-promulgate the land ordinance and allow it to lapse on August 31.

After the ordinance lapsed, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the NDA government will permit states to make amendments to the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.