Rahul fire fresh salvos at Maya, UP land policy

Cites Haryana as a model of land acquisition policy to UP farmers

sweta-ranjan

Sweta Ranjan | July 7, 2011



Conress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the Uttar Pradesh government of misleading farmers over land acquisition. Crticising the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government, Gandhi asked why the policy was not being implemented for the farmers who lost their land in the Expressway project.

“A little pressure exerted on the state government forced them to announce a new land acquisition policy. The policy has been brought in but the people have not been told if the policy will benefit them or not. If not, who will it benefit? You have suffered a loss, should we forget about this? If a new policy is to be implemented, it must be the correct policy. If the policy is correct, why is it not being implemented here,” he questioned.

He also highlighted the loss of livelihood of landless labourers who work as agricultural workers in these lands.

Addressing a panchayat at Kripalpur, the Congress leader stated that politics along caste lines has divided the state and created a situation where unscrupulous people now had control the formulation of government policy. “You might not like what I say but this is the truth,” he said.

Gandhi continued his Kisaan Sandesh Yatra for the third day on Thursday as more people joined his foot march. He has drawn hordes of supporters from farming communities in the area where lands have been acquired by the state government.

Gandhi started his Kisaan Sandesh Yatra from the Shairol village - where he had camped overnight - at around 6:30 am this morning. A large number of local residents also joined the march and shared their problems with the young leader. The Kisaan Sandesh Yatra covered Kirpalpur, Jahangarh and Kansera.

Last night, Gandhistated that the supreme court’s judgement on the Greater Noida land acquisitions had completely exposed the state government’s claims of transparency and legality on land acquisitions.

“The supreme court has stated that the land has been acquired without following the due process of law. The court has imposed a file of Rs 10 lakh on the government. This is happening across the state. Land has been given to the rich while the farmer has been denied his right. Everyone is quite and I have decided to undertake this Yatra so that I could hear the truth directly from you here”  Gandhi stated.

He said that the farmers were not against land being acquired for development project but they should be given adequate compensation and a fair hearing.The party has clarified on several occasions that it is not against the project and want it to be completed at the earliest but the concerns of the farmers have to be addressed so that they remain partners in the nation’s progress, just like in Congress-ruled Haryana.

UP is being ruled by dalals: Gandhi

Sanjeev Chopra/PTI

Firing a fresh salvo at the Mayawati government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday that "dalals" were running Uttar Pradesh as people of the state are "divided".

"You are not together. Uttar Pradesh is divided and that is why dalals (touts) are running the state," Gandhi said, addressing people in this village on the third day of his padayatra to Aligarh.

"You may not like it. But this is true. Since you are not together that is why this is happening here. Unless you unite, you will continue to suffer. Unless you don't understand what is happening, the train will not come on its track," the young Congress leader told the villagers.

Rahul began his footmarch today from Sarole village in the district at 6.30 AM and walked about 7 km to reach here on his way to Aligarh, where he is slated to address a 'kisan mahapanchayat' on July 9.

He said he came all the way from Delhi to convey his concern to farmers and people of Uttar Pradesh.

"I started my padayatra from Bhatta-Parsaul which saw the operation by the Mayawati Government on farmers in which many people were killed," he said.

"I wanted to meet you personally and hear to your problems," he told the farmers.

Gandhi told the farmers and villagers that they are being "fired upon" by police while protesting against taking their land forcibly.

Rahul said: "I have met a number of farmers so far and have not met a single one who does not want development. All farmers wish to get involved in the development process and in the progress of the state.

"Your land is pure. It is being taken away from you forcibly and they don't give adequate price," he said.

"I am with you irrespective of caste. For me, everyone are human beings. I wish to help everyone and all the people of Uttar Pradesh."

Citing the example of neighbouring state of Congress-ruled Haryana, Gandhi lauded its land acquisition policy and said "farmers were happy in Haryana and there are no problems there."

"Unlike here, in Haryana there were no dharnas either as the farmers were paid market rates for their land acquired. That is not done here," he said.

He also lamented that no other state has acquired as much land as done by the Uttar Pradesh government.

"No farmer is saying that we are against the building of roads of development, but we want to get involved in this development process. It is the government's duty to include all of them in this development process. Wherever I go the farmers are ready to give land but are asking for their rights," Gandhi said.

He also compared the policy of the two states while acquiring the agriculture land.

"While in Uttar Pradesh the farmer land is taken away forcibly, in Haryana farmers are paid adequate compensation, help and employment."

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi told PTI that the mahapanchayat will be held as per schedule on Saturday.

More than 30 farmer organisations from different parts of the state will speak on farmer related issues including land acquisition.

Joshi said: "We are offering a non-political platform where farmer representatives from 30 different organisations irrespective of their individual affiliations would be given an opportunity to express their views."

She said: "After the kisan mahapanchayat, Gandhi will submit a detailed report to the Union Govt which would provide vital inputs for the proposed Land Acquisition Bill."

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