Rahul in Mayawati land again, visits Bhatta Parsaul


Greater Noida : Stepping up his campaign against the Uttar Pradesh government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday started a foot march from the twin villages of Bhatta-Parsaul despite being denied permission to hold a rally there.

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Gandhi told farmers in the area, near the Indian capital, that “land acquisition is taking place from here to Agra”. His foot march will culminate in a farmers’ rally in Aligarh July 9.

He met farmers in Rustampur village soon after he showed up at Bhatta-Parsaul, which was the epicentre of farmers’ protests in May over land acquisition.

Addressing a group of farmers briefly, he lashed out at the Mayawati government in the state and alleged that police were committing excesses against people.

“I have started this yatra. I have started it from Bhatta and will go to all villages and see what is happening to ascertain your views on the new land acquisition policy of the Uttar Pradesh government,” he said.

“I want to learn about it, understand it,” he said.

Gandhi said he also wanted to know what farmers thought about the new land acquisition policy being framed by the central government. “I want to hear from you about the land acquisition policy,” he said.

The Congress leader said he was starting the foot march from Bhatta-Parsaul to Aligarh to raise farmer-related issues in the state.

Chief Minister Mayawati had denied Gandhi permission to hold the rally in Bhatta- Parsaul after which he shifted the venue to Aligarh July 9.

But his surprise visit to the village marks a stepped-up campaign against the government headed for the assembly polls next year.

The visit comes about two months after Gandhi was detained by in Bhatta-Parsaul, where he had gone to oppose police action on farmers who were protesting land acquisition. Violence triggered by the protests resulted in the deaths of four people, including two policemen.