The opposition members also asked the government not to insist on convening a joint session of Parliament if the bill fell through in the Upper House where the ruling coalition does not enjoy a majority.

They demanded waiver of crop loans and a substantial hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of farm crops, saying the prime reason of distress and suicides was the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorm which had damaged crops.

Initiating a discussion on farmers' distress and crisis, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the land bill of the UPA should be restored and the NDA government should not insist on calling for a joint Parliamentary session in case the bill does not get cleared in the Upper House.
"The government must first think about farmers instead of the land bill or else there would be increase in farmers' suicide cases. ...The government seems to be in vengeance. It wants to take revenge," Azad said.

He said the UPA government had brought the land bill based on some experience. "You (BJP) have changed sides now. You now think that the land bill that we drafted was wrong."
"If land bill is not passed in the Rajya Sabha, you are hell bent to call for joint session (of Parliament). The ordinance bill should be withdrawn and the earlier bill should be restored," he added.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar took the government to task over a letter written to opposition leaders by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, the government's pointsman on the land bill, saying it reflected "arrogance".

Claiming that the letter could have been sent at the  behest of the Prime Minister, he said "this is not a language of negotiation. It is the responsibility of all of us to help the poor and the needy".
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav asked the government to focus on the welfare of farmers, instead of acquiring "almost one-fourth of the nation's land" through the land bill. The proposed bill calls for acquisition of one km tracts on both sides of industrial corridors, which is estimated to be around seven lakh hectares, Yadav said.

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