BJP hopes for smaller parties' support on land bill
New Delhi: Facing an uphill task to get the new land bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP is hoping for support of regional and smaller parties for the controversial legislation.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders said smaller parties can support the bill in the upper house when it is taken up.
Party spokesman Bizay Sonkar Shastri hoped that regional parties will support the bill and said the Congress will get isolated on the issue.
"We have hope of support. The provisions of the new bill are being understood by the people. The Congress wants to make it a national issue but will be isolated," Shastri told IANS.
He said that regional parties were also understanding the benefits of the bill for their states.
Another party leader, who did not want to be named, said regional parties can support the bill if their concerns were addressed.
"We are talking to them (smaller parties). They can support us," he said.
He said the Congress and some other parties have launched unrelenting "propaganda" against the bill and it needs to be countered more "forcefully".
BJP leaders have said the government was prepared to make changes in the bill that was passed by the Lok Sabha with nine official amendments, if there were meaningful suggestions.
The Rajya Sabha will meet again on April 23 after it was prorogued last month. The government does not have a majority in the upper house.
BJP sources said parties such as the Biju Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party can be brought on board on the bill.
Abstention by some opposition parties during voting or even a walkout will bring down the number of those opposed to the bill.
Some sections in the BJP do not appear keen on the government opting for the joint session of parliament to pass the bill if it is defeated in the Rajya Sabha.
They said getting the bill passed through a joint session will provide ammunition to opposition parties ahead of the Bihar assembly polls later this year.
The government went for re-promulgation of the land ordinance after the bill could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha in the first half of the budget session. The ordinance issued in December last year lapsed on April 5.