Aligarh: As he entered Aligarh District on the second day of his foot march on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi took on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for "forcible" acquisition of land from farmers at cheap prices.

The 41-year-old AICC general secretary also said that the Mayawati government must understand its responsibilities and regretted that farmers, whose land is being acquired, come to know of the acquisition only at the end of the process.

Amidst heavy police deployment and prohibitory orders in force, Rahul reached Aligarh District from the adjoining Gautam Budh Nagar District where he started his 'kisan padyatra' on Tuesday. A Congress-backed kisan mahapanchayat is being held on Saturday.

"The Congress leader reached Bhudasa village within the limits of Aligarh District on Wednesday evening where he held a chaupal with the farmers and interacted with them at a primary school," the Congress sources said here.

"Currently Rahul Gandhi is in Siarol village. He is on padyatra and we are not stopping him," Senior Superintendent of Police Aligarh Satyendra Veer Singh said.

Singh had earlier said Rahul's 'kisan padyatra' would be a "clear violation" of prohibitory orders in force if it enters Aligarh District. He had also clarified that if there is no apprehension of law and order problem, the authorities might choose not to prevent Rahul's entry into the District.

Keeping Mayawati firmly on his cross-hairs, Rahul during his interactions with villagers while trudging the dusty tracks of Western UP alongside the controversial under construction Yamuna expressway corridor said the magnitude in which land was being acquired in UP was not happening anywhere else.

Extolling the farmers and people to share their stories with him, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family said he has come to hear them.

Resuming his march after a night halt at a farmer's house at Rampur Bangar, Rahul said "It's ok if the land is being acquired for road. Roads should be constructed and development must take place, but here land is being taken for colony," he said in Alawalpur in Gautam Budh Nagar District.

The ruling BSP on its part attacked Rahul terming his padyatra as merely a "stunt and a political drama" in view of the coming Assembly elections.

Rahul's kisan yatra a political gimmick: Rajnath

Terming Rahul Gandhi's march to highlight farmers' problems as a political gimmick, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh alleged both the Congress and the BSP are creating a situation to distract attention of the people from corruption and other issues.

"Problems of farmers are aplenty and serious. But both the Congress and the BSP are in league on the matter and are creating a situation to distract people's attention from corruption, price spiral and other burning issues," he told a news agency.

"Both the parties are in dock on corruption and price rise issues and are not in a position to face the people," the former BJP president said.

"Problems of farmers are not new and the Congress was in power for most of the time after independence.

"But, till date the Congress leaders have neither made any attempts to understand the problems of farmers nor they have initiated any steps in their interest," Singh said terming Rahul's kisan yatra as a "political gimmick".

The BJP leader said the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill is pending in Parliament since 2007.

"Then why Rahul Gandhi, who is the Congress general secretary, did not get the law amended according to the interests of the farmers?" he asked.

"Eating at a farmer or a Dalit house or spending a night there will not resolve their problems. For this, a strong political will is needed and the Congress has failed on this front time and again," he said.

"During the last Lok Sabha elections, the Congress promised to check price rise within 100 days. More than 700 days have passed and prices have increased manifold. But, Rahul Gandhi has never been heard speaking on this issue."

(Agencies)