A day after the Legislative Council passed the contentious “The Karnataka Land Reforms (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020” that liberalises farmland ownership with certain amendments, it was adopted by the assembly on Wednesday, despite the Congress staging a walkout. The government on Tuesday had managed to pass the bill in the legislative council after JD(S) backed it.
“We have not made any major changes to the bill that was discussed and passed earlier by this House, other than certain minor things, giving some clarity with clarifications,” Revenue Minister R Ashoka said.
Senior Congress MLA H K Patil, however, moved certain amendments to the bill, which was objected to by BJP MLA K G Bopaiah and Law Minister J C Madhuswamy, stating that no amendments can be moved at this stage as the bill has already been passed by this house and the legislative council.
Stating that discussions can happen only on amendments made by the council, Madhuswamy said the bill cannot be debated with fresh amendments suggested by any member.
Asking Patil whether he was trying to amend the Constitution, he pointed out that the amendment he suggested proposes to restrict people of other states from purchasing land in Karnataka.
As Siddaramaiah rose to defend Patil, saying that the government was giving land to non-agriculturists and corporate bodies, Madhuswamy hit back at the former Chief Minister, pointing out that one who allowed change of land use by bringing amendments in 2015 should not speak now.
Amid argument between some Congress and BJP MLAs following this, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, citing rules, rejected the amendments moved by Patil.
The bill was then passed by a voice vote in the assembly, even as Congress legislators staged a walk out.
Before going to the council, the assembly had passed the bill during the monsoon session in September.
It had replaced an ordinance to the effect, promulgated by the government in July.
As the bill was pending before the council, the government in October had re-promulgate the ordinance.
The Karnataka Land Reforms (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 that further amends the act of 1961, removing almost all restrictions on buying farm land.
The assembly also passed the Karnataka Stamp (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020, aimed at giving an impetus to the growth of industry in the state as proposed in the Industrial Policy and to reduce the stamp duty to first sale of flat or apartment up to Rs 35 lakh as proposed in the budget.
Also passed was the Karnataka Parliamentary Secretaries Salary, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions (Repeal) Bill, 2020.