Amid Opposition’s all-out effort to stall the amended Land Acquisition Bill, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday wrote a letter to political leaders and social activists inviting them for an open debate on the legislation.
Among those who have been sent letters include Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who led the Opposition march to Rashtrapati Bhavan against Land Bill on Tuesday, and Anna Hazare, who has been leading a farmers’ agitation.
“I have written a letter to Sonia Gandhi and Anna Hazare and have given them invitation for an open discussion,” Gadkari told reporters.
“Have requested leaders of political parties and social activists to come on a platform, whether electronic or print media, and have an open discussion,” the minister added.
Gadkari said his invitation for open debate also extends to NGOs.
Gadkari’s letter came a day after Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to Anna Hazare on the NDA government’s Land Bill and vowed to oppose it at all fora.
Gandhi’s letter to the social activist was in reply to his earlier missive and referred to the protest march to President House by the representatives of 14 parties on the issue.
Leaders of 14 political parties led by Sonia Gandhi had taken out a march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan against amendments to the Land Acquisition Act.
“I have got your letter dated March 14 in which you have talked about your doubts about the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015. I am in agreement with your views that the Ordinance of the NDA government and the amendment bill, which is now before Parliament, is not in the interest of farmers,” Gandhi wrote.
The exchange of letters between Congress President and Hazare came amid signs of some bonhomie between the party and the Gandhian, with Hazare sometime praising Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his role in getting the Lokpal Bill passed by Parliament.