Rahul Gandhi’s footmarch, which was kick-started from Bhatta-Parsaul nearly two months after his visit to the twin villages, the epicentre of farmers’ protests in the face of unlawful land acquisition, has thrown a fresh challenge to the Mayawati government. After promising the farmers of giving unstinting help, the Gandhi scion has punctured the claim of the Mayawati government that it has satisfied the farmers by bringing new land acquisition law. Rahul Gandhi wants to make kisan mahapanchayat, which is to be held at Aligarh, successful by launching his padyatra from Bhatta-Parsaul. As the state government has given order to hold mahapanchayat, so if it stops Rahul’s footmarch, the message will go that the state government is scared of the Congress general secretary. The state government must know that there is nothing wrong if Rahul Gandhi wants to corroborate the political base of the party through his padyatra and showing sympathy to farmers. Like other leaders, he too has got the right to walk on his political turf. The BSP and others might have objection to such kind of Rahul’s political workmanship, but it is not significant. It is true that when Rahul visits backwater of states and lands his all ears to the sufferings of the farmers, he hogs media limelight to the hilt and other parties feel insecure and start nit-picking , but how many leaders huddle with the poor and spend night in their decrepit log cabins like Rahul Gandhi. If it is a mere political stunt and he is whiling his time, then why is the Opposition passing sleepless nights?

Only time will say if Rahul Gandhi comes as a pro-farmer leader. He is precisely right that the land is taken away from farmers at a very cheap rate which has been boosted by the Supreme Court, but this malpractice is not constricted to only UP. The Apex Court has categorically said that the land is being acquired forcefully and erratically in other states as well. As the new land acquisition law of the Uttar Pradesh government is not helpful for those farmers whose land was taken in possession. So, it is natural that Rahul Gandhi is trying to put the Mayawati government in dock; he should also explain the stand of the Centre on this issue. What is the reason that agricultural land is forcefully acquired, and the Central government is sitting idle? Will Rahul Gandhi make it sure the Central government amends land acquisition law so that the land acquired at cheaper rate would be returned to the farmers? If he cannot do so, it means the Congress and other parties are two sides of the same coin.