Gandhi accuses Uttar Pradesh of giving farmland to builders
New Delhi: The Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi has criticised the provincial Uttar Pradesh government for betraying farmers.
He accused Mayawati's government of giving the land of hundred of thousands of farmers to builders, adding that the farmers had to face bullets if they demanded their rights.
Addressing a farmers' rally at Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh at the culmination of his five-day walk through the western districts of the state, Gandhi slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for its forcible and flawed acquisition of farmers' land.
"...Land is acquired even in Haryana, but the government there talks to farmers, takes them into confidence and pays them market price for acquiring land. Why can't the Uttar Pradesh government do the same?" he questioned.
The Congress general secretary said the farmers told him they are against the way the government acquires their land at cheap rates and hands the same over to builders for making colonies.
"Land of lakhs of farmers is being taken in Uttar Pradesh and being given to builders. When farmers say give us our rights, they have to face bullets," Gandhi said.
Gandhi promised a new land acquisition legislation in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament to ensure justice was done to farmers.
"The painful thing is that the farmers were not doing anything wrong, only seeking their rights. Police fired at them, killed them," he said.
Gandhi said he had not met any farmer or labourer who was against development.
A large crowd had gathered at the Numaish Ground in the heart of Aligarh. They came from various parts of the state braving humidity and heavy rains to listen to the young Congress leader.
The massive gathering even surprised the Congress leaders who were not expecting such an enthusiastic response, which they feel augurs well for the party ahead of next year's state legislative assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi termed his five-day walk across the state as a real learning experience after being with the common people, eating and living with them, saying he could not have learned as much sitting in New Delhi.
He added that the central government would try to bring in a land acquisition bill in the interest of the farmers. "We will try our best to give such a law in Lok Sabha..."
— With inputs from IANS