KHANDWA (TIP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 5 took on the opposition over the prospects of defeat of important bills in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority. “You may have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, but don’t use it to stop development of the nation,” said Modi while addressing a large gathering here.

The Prime Minister was referring to important legislations like the land acquisition bill which the government is finding hard to push in the Rajya Sabha because of a united opposition. His jibe at the opposition comes just two days after parties had united in the Upper House to force an amendment to the motion of thanks on President’s address. The opposition’s amendment had referred to the absence of corruption or black money in President’s speech.

Defending his government’s land acquisition policy, Modi said that a year ago, the UPA had passed a land acquisition law to garner votes before elections, but the farmers opted to vote for a different government.

The Prime Minister said the government wanted a series of small industries developed in rural areas as farming alone could not sustain the economy. “Today’s farmer, who has three sons, does not want all of them to harvest his fields. He wants one son to be a farmer and the other two employed in industries. Where will employment in industries come from?” said the Prime Minister, who was in Khandwa to inaugurate the first phase of 1,200 MW Shri Singaji thermal power plant.

Modi said there was no basis in opposition’s charge that he was anti-farmer. “They (farmers) need canals for irrigation. Can irrigation projects be constructed in the skies?Government needs land to make homes for poor. Roads in villages, schools and hospitals cannot be constructed in heavens. How can development take place without acquisition of land,” he asked.