Calcutta, Oct. 1: Union minister Jairam Ramesh today said some Trinamul MPs had “privately” backed the new land bill but opposed it in public because of the “party’s whip”.
The land acquisition bill of 1894 was replaced by The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, that was passed in the monsoon session of Parliament despite opposition from Trinamul MPs.
“Some Trinamul MPs privately backed the new land bill when I discussed it with them. But they later opposed it in both the Houses because of the party’s whip,” Ramesh, the Union rural development minister, told a news conference in Calcutta today.
He said Trinamul MP Debabrata Bandopadhyay had backed the bill.
“I spent nearly six hours at Trinamul Rajya Sabha member Debabrata Bandopadhyay’s house, discussing the bill. I also talked at length about the bill with Mamata Banerjee at Writers’ and accommodated some of her suggestions in the bill to ensure her party MPs’ support. But they opposed the new bill in both the Houses despite their assurances to back it in private,” Ramesh said.
Bandopadhyay denied having backed the bill.
Trinamul leaders said Ramesh’s remarks were aimed at “misleading” the people before the Lok Sabha polls and create a rift within the party.