Railways move court against decision on Rae Bareli land

October 13th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj PartyLucknow, Oct 13 (IANS) Northern Railways (NR) Monday moved the high court seeking a stay on the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to withdraw the land acquired by it for a coach factory in Rae Bareli district.The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government had late Saturday withdrawn the 400 acres it had given for the proposed factory in Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s constituency. The factory is slated to come up on 1,200 acres of land in Lalganj town of Rae Bareli.

The move comes just before Gandhi’s visit to her constituency Tuesday.

Villagers and farmers of Lalganj town have also filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court against the order.

“The villagers were protesting the government’s move since the order was received by the local administration. Besides, the railways has also filed a stay in the Lucknow bench,” state Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh told IANS.

Defending its decision to cancel the land allotment, government officials said the step was taken after the local administration informed them about the `explosive situation” developing in the area.

“The decision was taken after a report from Rae Bareli District Magistrate Santosh Kumar mentioned the state of unrest amongst local villagers (against land acquisition for the project),” Vijay Shanker Pandey, principal secretary to the chief minister, told reporters Sunday.

“It was also suspected that they could take extreme steps such as suicide if the land is not returned,” he said.

Though the Congress has officially announced only Gandhi’s visit, party sources said Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi could also accompany her.

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