New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday morning left for Mathura on the last leg of his four-day padyatra (foot march). The young Congress leader left for Mathura after spending the night at a Dalit farmer’s home in Marodgarhi village.

Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to arrive in Aligarh on Saturday to attend a maha-panchayat where farmers have been asked to share their views on UP's land acquisition policies.

Beginning his foot march from the Bhatta-Parsaul in Noida, the Congress leader has visited more than 20 villages so far, covering a distance of 50 km.

On Thursday Rahul began his foot march from Sarole village in the district at 6.30 AM and walked about 7 km to reach Kirpalpur on his way to Aligarh, where he is due to address a 'kisan mahapanchayat' on Saturday.

Taking on the Mayawati Government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that, "Dalals" are 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," Rahul said while  addressing a vast gathering.

Continuing his attack on the BSP government, Rahul said, "The land acquisition policy of Uttar Pradesh government is not in  farmers’ interests and the Supreme Court has done a commendable job by quashing the land acquisition done by it.”

"Your land is pure. It is being taken away from you forcibly but you’re not being given adequate price for it," he said. "I am with you irrespective of caste. For me, each of you are a human being. 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."

He also lamented that no other state has acquired as much land as has beem done by the Uttar Pradesh government. "No farmer is saying that we are against the building of roads for development, but we want to get involved in this development process. It is the government's duty to include all of them in this process. Wherever I go the farmers are ready to give land but are asking for their rights," Gandhi said.

He also compared the policies of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana regarding the government 's policy to acquire the agriculture land. "While in Uttar Pradesh farmer's land is taken away forcibly, in Haryana farmers are paid adequate compensation, help and employment."

Rahul Gandhi's 'padyatra' is likely to run into rough weather as the district administration has imposed a prohibitory order under section 144 of the CrPC in Aligarh. Though no one is willing to be quoted officially, sources claim that Rahul Gandhi may be arrested for holding a padyatra.

However, the UP government has permitted the Gandhi scion of holding a mahapanchayat in Aligarh.

Mayawati's government has been critical of Gandhi's attempts to associate himself with farmers as his pro-active role in the western UP belt now poses a potential threat to the BSP government.

The Supreme Court has recently ordered the UP government to return the land taken by farmers in the Shahberi village of Grater Noida as it was taken inappropriately.

Read more: Rahul Gandhi bowled over by farmers’ inflation queries

Agencies