The Modi govt is shelving the Land Acquisition Bill after political opponents have pounced upon the issue and raised increasing outcry over it.
I feel that the Modi govt should have taken the approach of handing over more control of land policy to the states. Then states with a more forward and progressive outlook could move to develop themselves faster, while states with a more regressive outlook (bimarus) could be left to lag behind. The states more amenable to change would reap the rewards sooner, while the laggard states would suffer the consequences and feel more pressure to catch up.
Modi has often spoken of empowering the states and involving the states, but on the land issue he seems to have conspicuously ignored his own advice. Maybe his rock-concert-tours abroad have misled him into believing that he can change India purely through the force of personal charisma, but he is now receiving a rude dose of reality. He does not have the personal force to just hoist up the entire country and raise the Titanic in one heave. UPA govt created this issue with its 2013 land act, and Modi should have sidestepped this trap just as was done with MNREGA. With over 55% of the population getting subsistence through farming, this powerfully large interest group should have been seen as a dangerous Kumbakarna to awaken.The govt had better figure out how to up its game before it completely loses momentum and gets bogged down by an obstructionist opposition who are as unscrupulous as Taliban spreading fear and lies against polio vaccinations.