M A I N   N E W S

Rahul takes UP farmers to PM
Accuses BSP govt of brutalising villagers in name of land acquisition
Vibha Sharma/TNS

New Delhi, May 16
Just five days after taking everyone by surprise by sneaking into Bhatta Parsual village in Greater Noida to express solidarity with farmers, who were agitating over ‘forceful’ land acquisitions, Congress scion Rahul Gandhi today upped the ante against the Mayawati government by taking up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Rahul said he accompanied the farmers merely as a “facilitator” to highlight their situation. “They wanted to meet the PM, so I facilitated it,” he told reporters in New Delhi. Rahul, who had taken eight farmers with him, said the Prime Minister gave them a “patient hearing”.

The Congress leader went on to list the atrocities, allegedly committed on the protesting villagers by the Mayawati government. He also handed over pictures of burnt bodies and ransacked houses to the Prime Minister. “In a large number of villages in Uttar Pradesh, the government is using oppression, people are being murdered and women raped,” he claimed.

“What I am concerned about is that how are we treating our own people. Most of the people said they are more than happy to give land for development. Most poor people want development in the country and they are ready to sacrifice. The question is how we treat them - do we treat them fairly or we brutalise (them),” Rahul asked.

The agitation in UP against land acquisition has taken a political colour with major parties jumping on the protest bandwagon, accusing Chief Minister Mayawati of harassing farmers. However, Rahul managed to score political brownie points for his party by being the first one to reach the spot, sneaking past an extensive network of policemen to reach the Bhatta Parsaul village.





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