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Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government trying to impose land bill on farmers: Nitish Kumar

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: IANS)
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: IANS)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: IANS)

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Saturday that the Narendra Modi government was “trying to impose controversial land acquisition bill on farmers through the ordinance route that will prove costly”.

“Modi’s government is desperate to pass the land acquisition bill in the Rajya Sabha, where it was opposed, to impose it on millions of farmers, who are protesting against it across the country,” Nitish Kumar told reporters after attending an official function here.

“For Prime Minister Modi, farmers’ interest hardly matter. What matters for him is the interest of corporates as he has been trying to push through the land bill,” Nitish Kumar said.

His reaction after the union Cabinet on Saturday recommended re-issuance of the controversial land acquisition ordinance for the third time, as the earlier one is lapsing on June 4.

Nitish Kumar said that never before was any bill opposed in such a way by the people across the country.

“People as well as different political parties, except the BJP and its allies, have been opposing the bill and demanding its withdrawal. Such opposition has never been seen before,” he said.

The chief minister said that his party, Janata Dal-United, like other parties, too was opposed to the bill, which would “snatch land from farmers for corporate houses”.

Nitish Kumar said that Modi had made the land bill a “prestige issue” by ignoring the opposition by the country’s farmers.

He also targeted union ministers who had visited Bihar from May 26 to 29, saying that they were only addressing press conferences and doing nothing else.

“Union ministers are like paratroopers, who have no work, except to address press conferences in hotels here and there,” the Bihar chief minister remarked.

Nitish Kumar said that all union ministers were parroting the name of only one man in their statements.

As for the ban on a students’ body in IIT Madras, Nitish Kumar said that Modi was “trying to murder democracy” through the ban on freedom of expression at the IIT.

“I strongly favour freedom of expression in the country,” he added.

 

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)