Kirpalpur: Firing a fresh salvo at the Mayawati Government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that "dalals" were running Uttar Pradesh as people of the state are "divided".
"You are not together. Uttar Pradesh is divided and that is why dalals (touts) are running the state," Gandhi said, addressing people in this village on the third day of his padayatra to Aligarh.
"You may not like it. But this is true. Since you are not together that is why this is happening here. Unless you unite, you will continue to suffer. Unless you don't understand what is happening, the train will not come on its track," the young Congress leader told the villagers.
Rahul began his footmarch on Thursday from Sarole village in the district at 6.30 AM and walked about 7 km to reach here on his way to Aligarh, where he is slated to address a 'kisan mahapanchayat' on July 9.
He said he came all the way from Delhi to convey his concern to farmers and people of Uttar Pradesh.
"I started my padayatra from Bhatta-Parsaul which saw the operation by the Mayawati Government on farmers in which many people were killed," he said.
"I wanted to meet you personally and hear to your problems," he told the farmers.
Gandhi told the farmers and villagers that they are being "fired upon" by police while protesting against taking their land forcibly. Rahul said, "I have met a number of farmers so far and have not met a single one who does not want development. All farmers wish to get involved in the development process and in the progress of the state.
"Your land is pure. It is being taken away from you forcibly and they don't give adequate price," he said, adding "I am with you irrespective of caste. For me, everyone is human beings. I wish to help everyone and all the people of Uttar Pradesh."
Citing the example of neighbouring state of Congress-ruled Haryana, Gandhi lauded its land acquisition policy and said "farmers were happy in Haryana and there are no problems there."
"Unlike here, in Haryana there were no dharnas either as the farmers were paid market rates for their land acquired. That is not done here," he said.
He also lamented that no other state has acquired as much land as done by the Uttar Pradesh government.
"No farmer is saying that we are against the building of roads of development, but we want to get involved in this development process. It is the government's duty to include all of them in this development process. Wherever I go the farmers are ready to give land but are asking for their rights," Gandhi said.
He also compared the policy of the two states while acquiring the agriculture land.
"While in Uttar Pradesh the farmer land is taken away forcibly, in Haryana farmers are paid adequate compensation, help and employment."

Rahul promises 'pro-farmer' Land Acquisition Bill

Rahul Gandhi, who has taken on Mayawati government on the land acquisition issue, on Thursday promised the farmers that the Land Acquisition Bill will be in their favour.

Accusing the Mayawati Government of committing land grab in favour of builders in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress general secretary, who was addressing villagers during the third day of his padyatra to Aligarh, said, "We will present this Bill in the Lok Sabha and you will see that it will be passed in your favour.”

"Your fight is our fight," Gandhi said while charging the Uttar Pradesh government with running the state "to benefit the builders and not farmers".

"Normally governments elected by people are run for the poor. But the Uttar Pradesh government is running for the benefit of big builders. It has forgotten the farmers and labourers, who have toiled and shed their sweat to provide food for the nation," the Amethi MP said.

Claiming that the state's land acquisition policy was full of flaws, he said that such policies should be framed after talks with farmers to take them into confidence.

"Though the Mayawati government brought a new land acquisition policy a few days ago, after our pressure, the new policy was meant not for farmers but for someone else. It also has a number of shortcomings," said Rahul while questioning the state's decision to exclude all acquisitions already taken place.

"Why should the farmers of Bhatta Parsaul or Tappal not be heard and not given due compensation for land as per new rates. They have given their lives and why does the government forget their loss," said Gandhi, who was referring to the Greater Noida villages where he had joined the farmers' stir in May, and called for the new land policy to be made applicable to farmers with retrospective effect.

Gandhi said farmers were not against development and needed to be involved in the process. "Golion se banegi ki ya baat cheet se banegi (this will be done through bullets or through dialogue)," he said.

While accusing the Mayawati government of pursuing "anti-farmer and anti-labourer" policies, Gandhi asked the farmers to join him in the Aligarh Mahapanchayat on July 9 and express their views openly.

The AICC general secretary said that the Centre's policies are sympathetic towards the interests of farmers and labourers but claimed that the UP government was busy "constructing mall and stadia to favour the big builders".

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