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Ready to face consequences on Land Bill: Venkaiah

Union ministers at press conference

Hyderabad:  Hardening its stance, the Centre today indicated that it would not allow further amendments to the controversial Land Bill and asserted that it is ready to face the “consequences” even as it acknowledged that Rajya Sabha is a “stumbling block in our way.”

“Government has made the needed amendments. If there are well-meaning suggestions, let it come. Then we will consider it,” Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told PTI, when asked if the government is ready for more amendments.

Earlier, speaking to reporters, Naidu did not buy the argument that there is a deadlock on the Bill as the Opposition is firm on opposing it.

“There is no deadlock. Lock has been opened. We did not have numbers (in Rajya Sabha), but the Coal Bill has been passed, Mines and Minerals Bill (MMDR) has been passed in the same Rajya Sabha, let’s see.

“After the nine amendments moved by the government in the Lok Sabha (on the Land Bill), there is nothing, nothing objectionable. We did not do anything unilaterally. We have done extensive consultations,” the minister said.

“They (the Congress and Opposition parties which are against the Land Bill) don’t want growth. They don’t want good name to the government. They want development holiday to be extended. We are not ready. We want to do something. We are ready to face the consequences (on the Land Bill)”, he said.

Expressing confidence that the people “will be with us,” Naidu said the government would again bring the Bill to Lok Sabha.

“I am confident, with the mood of the people, the members of Parliament will support the Bill in both Houses and it will be passed. That’s my confidence,” he said.

“Let there be a constructive debate when Parliament meets. When we discuss, if there are meaningful suggestions, government has declared that we are open for discussion,” he said.

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