The hon. President has convened the Joint Sitting of both the Houses of
Parliament under Article 108 of the Constitution in connection with discussing
the configuration and implications of the Prevention of Terrorism Law and
whether it should be passed or not? An anti-terrorism law already existed in
America, yet they have brought a new law. The whole nation of United States was
unanimous about it and when that law was brought before the Senate, only one
vote was cast against it. After the attack on World Trade Centre which took a
toll of about 3000 people, the President of America lost no time in declaring,
`A war has been launched on the United States of America'. On the other hand,
in our country this law was defeated in the Rajya Sabha and, paradoxically, the
spokespersons of the parties went to extent of saying that they wanted to show
to the world that this country was divided over this issue.
Arun Jaitley, the Minister of Law, Justice & Company Affairs, March 2002 (during a joint sitting of the Parliament to pass the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 – POTA – to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance – POTO)
We need to get ready to listen to
something like this when the National Democratic Alliance government led by
Narendra Modi goes ahead with the Land Bill ordinance to get it passed in the
joint sitting of the Parliament.
Narendra Modi has no other
He has promised the sky and he
needs to deliver if he has to leave his legacy behind. And to leave a legacy
worth talking about, he needs to come back in power in 2019.
He needs time.
One year is almost gone and the
policy apparatus is still not in place, a
must before Modi embarks on the journey to realize his dreams, to
deliver on his promises.
And if a five year term, i.e., the
single term, is going to be the window available, Modi has started running out
He has promised jobs. He has promised increased income. He promised
better amenities to live with. He has promised smarter living with smart
cities. He has promised faster living with increased connectivity and reduced
To say in one sentence - he has
promised good times for a good life.
And the government cannot do so
on its own. It needs collaborators, primarily from the industry, from within,
and from abroad.
It needs capital and ways to
invest that capital - in industries, in infrastructure - generating revenue,
And land is an imperative in
Delay in land acquisition has stalled
projects worth over Rs. 3.5 Lakh Crore. There are reports that take this cost
to Rs. 20 Lakh Crore. A CMIE report puts the worth of the stalled projects to
some 14 Trillion US$. The industrial corridors of Delhi-Mumbai and
Mumbai-Chennai and over 60 national highways are stalled due to delay in
Land is needed to create
industrial corridors, new residential hubs and the associated infrastructure.
Land is needed to connect India better to move faster.
Land is the key to unlock what
Modi is aspiring for. And it is the key reason behind the Land Bill ordinance
that diluted the provisions of the previous Bill passed by the Manmohan Singh
led United Progressive Alliance government. Broadly, more categories have been
exempted where owners' consent is not necessary. Also, the provisions related
to Social Impact Analysis have been diluted as well.
With mounting opposition and
criticism, not just from the political opposition, but from his own allies, as
well as civil society movements like the one launched by Anna Hazare, the
'consensus' that was always elusive, has gone beyond reach, with the present
form of the Bill.
And to have his way ahead, Modi
needs the Bill cleared in this form.
So, expect justifications, all of
which are not invalid with some having mandatory relevance for spurring growth
in India, during the joint session that is to be called to get the Land Bill
Would it be Arun Jaitley this
time to initiate the debate of the joint sitting, the Minister of Finance and
Information & Broadcasting now, one of the most eloquent NDA ministers? Last
time, in 2002, it was the then Home Minister L K Advani.