NEW DELHI -- Even as his Cabinet decided to promulgate the Land Acquisition Ordinance for the third time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the legislation is not "a matter of life or death for me" and that he was prepared to accept any suggestions.
"This is not a matter of life or death for me. And neither was it the agenda of my party or the government," he said in an interview carried by The Tribune newspaper.
In a separate interview, Modi responded strongly to Rahul Gandhi's jibe that the government was "suit boot ki sarkar".
"Suit boot is definitely more acceptable than suitcase, he told ANI. "After ruling for 60 years, the Congress has suddenly remembered the poor. People of this country have suffered and remained poor due to shortsighted policies of the Congress."
Hitting out at Congress, Modi said, "Did the coal and spectrum scandals or the CWG fiasco benefit the poor? Everyone knows who were the beneficiaries -- some chosen industrialists and contractors."
The Prime Minister also spoke about the controversy surrounding the 'One-Rank, One-Pension' (OROP) for ex-servicemen and told the newspaper, "We are committed to OROP, but we are in consultation with defence personnel regarding the definition of OROP.
"Our government is here for five years and we cannot do anything without consulting the people concerned. The dialogue is being actively pursued. There is no need to have any doubt on this.