Rahul joins farmers’ stir, says ashamed to be Indian (Roundup)May 11th, 2011 - 11:44 pm ICT by IANS
Greater Noida/New Delhi/Lucknow, May 11 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi early Wednesday sneaked into the highly guarded Bhatta Parsaul village to meet farmers agitating for higher compensation for their land and said the Uttar Pradesh government’s high-handedness made him “feel ashamed to be an Indian”.
“I have seen the violence unleashed on your youth and women. By seeing what has happened here, I feel ashamed to be an Indian. The state government is tormenting its own people,” Rahul Gandhi said, targeting the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government led by Mayawati.
However, the chief minister responded by questioning the Congress scion’s credentials.
“Rahul is no grassroots level leader and had no right to represent the farmers,” she said in Lucknow.
Rahul, known for his unscheduled visits to hot spots, entered the village on a two-wheeler early Wednesday, dodging the large number of policemen posted to enforce prohibitory orders banning the assembly of more than five people.
Since morning, Gandhi met a large number of villagers and addressed a series of impromptu meetings.
“Till the time your work is completed, the Congress party will not go from here,” he told villagers. “I have come here to stand by you.”
He went round the village and witnessed damage to the houses and property, allegedly caused by policemen.
Police and agitating farmers fought a pitched battle Saturday in Bhatta Parsaul that killed four people, including two policemen.
The farmers are agitating for higher compensation for land acquired for the 156-km Yamuna Expressway, linking New Delhi with Agra.
A bitter political battle has broken out over the five-day-old agitation, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samjwadi Party joining issue and criticising their rivals for “politically exploiting the farmers’ agitation”.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and other leaders are also camping with Rahul Gandhi in Bhatta Parsaul.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that Rahul Gandhi was enacting a drama in connivance with Mayawati.
“Rahul Gandhi who went to the village to meet the protesting farmers is himself sitting on strike and that is hampering the law and order situation there,” former BJP president Rajnath Singh said.
According to Congress leader Digvijay Singh, the state government acquired land from the farmers at Rs.850 per sq metre and sold it to corporates for Rs.10,000 per sq metre.
“Rahul Gandhi is there on protest. Nothing will happen if he keeps sitting there. The central government needs to take some steps and if Rahul Gandhi wants, this can be done. The central government should compensate the farmers,” Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said.
“The entire village is thankful to Rahul Gandhi who has come to share the sorrows of the farmers. The villagers were subjected to ill-treatment by the barbaric police force… but after his arrival, we are enthusiastic,” said Kirpal Singh Malik, a farmer in the Bhatta Parsaul village here.
Caught unawares, the district administration Wednesday said it could not stop anyone from coming here as the prohibitory orders were revoked Tuesday night.
“Section 144 of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) enforced earlier had already been revoked last night. We did not specially facilitate Rahul Gandhi’s visit, but in a democracy, everybody has the right to present his grievances in a peaceful manner,” said Sheetal Verma, the acting district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar.
“The administration is keeping an eye on the farmers’ dharna,” she said.
- Rahul to address rally in Bhatta Parsaul - Jun 07, 2011
- Prohibitory orders lifted not to suit Rahul: Uttar Pradesh - May 11, 2011
- Dalit's daughter Mayawati now chasing money: Digvijay Singh - May 13, 2011
- Rahul Gandhi visits agitating farmers in Greater Noida (Lead) - May 11, 2011
- Rahul Gandhi arrested in Uttar Pradesh, released - May 12, 2011
- Sachin Pilot held on way to Bhatta-Parsaul, released (Second Lead) - May 22, 2011
- From Bhatta-Parsaul, Rahul leads campaign against Mayawati (Roundup) - Jul 05, 2011
- Rahul's march to get feedback on land policy: Digvijay - Jul 05, 2011
- From Bhatta Parsaul, Rahul takes forward campaign against Mayawati (Intro Roundup) - Jul 05, 2011
- As parties play politics of land, divides deepen (Roundup) - May 12, 2011
- BJP slams Rahul Gandhi's Greater Noida visit - May 11, 2011
- I am with you, Rahul tells farmers in Mayawati land (Second Lead) - Jul 05, 2011
- Congress defends Rahul Gandhi on Bhatta-Parsaul, BJP hits out (Intro Roundup) - May 19, 2011
- Why can't UPA dismiss Mayawati government, asks BJP (Lead) - May 12, 2011
- PM announces aid, Pilot tries to enter Bhatta-Parsaul (Third Lead) - May 22, 2011
Tags: bahujan samaj party, bharatiya janata party, bjp, chief minister, congress chief, congress party, digvijay singh, grassroots level, handedness, impromptu meetings, joshi, level leader, lucknow, Mayawati, pitched battle, policemen, rahul gandhi, state congress, two wheeler, uttar pradesh government