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Rahul Gandhi addresses farmers in Aligarh, promises new land acquisition law

Aligarh , Sat, 09 Jul 2011 ANI

Aligarh, July 9 (ANI): Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday hit out at the Mayawati government over its land acquisition policy, saying it was killing farmers for making justified demands.


Addressing thousands of farmers at a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' here, Gandhi said the Uttar Pradesh government was not listening to farmers and denying them rightful compensation for land acquired from them.


Admitting that that the existing land laws were outdated and there was a need to change them, Gandhi assured the farmers that the UPA government will introduce a new Land Acquisition Bill in Lok Sabha.


Comparing Uttar Pradesh farmers to those in Haryana, he said that Haryanvi farmers got a better price for their land.


In Haryana, the government pays fair price to farmers, informs them in advance about their land being acquired, he said, adding the problem in Uttar Pradesh was that the government doesn't talk to farmers as its intent is doubtful


He also slammed critics who called his four-day padayatra in Uttar Pradesh as a political gimmick.


Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, union ministers Sachin Pilot and Jitin Prasad and state unit president Rita Bahuguna Joshi were among those present at the rally.


During his four-day padyatra, Rahul Gandhi stopped at nearly 25 villages and spoke to people from about 60 villages to discuss the issue of land acquisition by the Mayawati Government in the name of development.


The Congress had planned the kisan mahapanchayat at Bhatta- Parsaul, where two villagers had died in police firing, but was forced to shift the venue to Aligarh's exhibition grounds following pressure from the state government.


On Thursday, he began his padyatra from Sarole village in the District at 6.30 a.m. and walked about 7 km to reach Kirpalpur. He spent the night at a farmer's place in Maror-Garhi village.


On Wednesday, Gandhi resumed his yatra at 6:30 a.m. By 7 p.m., he had covered five villages. In the afternoon he rested at a farmer's home. Then, it was back to the road.


On Tuesday at 6.15 a.m., Gandhi, accompanied by just three SPG, reached Bhatta village, the epicentre of farmers' protest against land acquisition, in his vehicle.


He met villagers briefly at the same dharna spot where he had earlier held a panchayat on May 11. (ANI)


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