New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Opposition Congress and NCP today asked the government to clarify its stand on the proposed amendments to the contentious Land Acquisition bill in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to withdraw the changes. Also Read - Budget session of Mizoram Assembly from March 12

At a meeting of the Joint Committee of Parliament here, the members of the Congress and the NCP also staged a walkout, saying there was no point in continuing with the proceedings unless there is clarity on withdrawal of amendments to the bill, according to committee member and Congress leader K V Thomas. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi treks Tirumala hills, prays at Lord Balaji temple

The Opposition members said Modi had in his ‘Mann Ki Baat” radio programme of August 30, 2015 categorically stated that the amendments would be withdrawn. Also Read - Piyush Goyal prays at Lord Venkateswara temple

While seeking to know the government stand, the Opposition MPs made it clear to the committee Chairman Ganesh Singh that the prime minister or Rural Development Minister should give a clarification on this matter in Parliament.

The bill seeks, among other things, removal of the consent clause for acquiring land for five areas industrial corridors, public-private projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.

“Unless the government’s stand on the matter is clarified, there is no purpose of holding the committee’s meeting. The clarification was sought earlier in 2015 as well but the government has not bothered to respond,” Thomas told PTI.

Since there was no clarity, the Opposition members did not attend the last meeting of the committee, under the new chairman.

“But we decided to attend this time and explained our views before staging a walkout,” the Congress member said.

Besides Thomas, NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar and Congress MPs Digvijay Singh and P L Purnia walked out of the meeting. Only 12 out of 21 members attended the meeting today, Thomas said.

CPM and TMC members were not present.

Thomas said there was no relevance of the committee if the government has decided not to go ahead with the amendments.

The committee to examine the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, was set up in May 2015 after the legislation was opposed strongy by several political parties.

The committee is currently in its ninth extension.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.