Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on late on Wednesday night launched a counter offensive against opposition parties accusing them of provoking the farmers of Bhatta Parsaul into violence and charged the Centre with doing nothing to bring a new law for land acquisition.
"There was total peace in Bhatta Parsaul. But the opposition parties are trying to spark a law and order problem by provoking the farmers of the area", Mayawati was quoted as saying by UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh.
She claimed the villagers of Bhatta Parsaul, the epicentre of the farmers' agitation against land acquisition by the state government, have made no demand and the situation there was "totally peaceful".
However, it was the opposition parties which had made the demand and created a law and order problem by provoking the farmers, Singh told a press conference shortly after midnight.
Mayawati accused the opposition parties of indulging in
"low-level" politics over land acquisition and said the Centre has not done anything to bring a new law on land acquisition.
She said the Centre has declared that a new law for land acquisition would be brought in Parliament but has so far taken no action on the issue.
She said the law relating to land acquisition comes within the ambit of the Centre which can take any decision to either amend the existing laws or frame new legislation.
The UP chief minister said, "If Congress wants to do anything for farmers, who stops them?"
She said Bahujan Samaj Party would lay a siege of Parliament if a new bill for land acquisition was not brought in the monsoon session of Parliament.
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary said Rahul Gandhi,
sitting on a dharna at Bhatta Parsol village in Greater Noida was taken into custody in apprehension of breach of peace after the party sought permission to hold a public meeting there on Thursday.
Singh said through intelligence and other inputs, the administration had come to know that criminal and anti-social elements might try to disturb peace there on Thursday and that was why the Congress leaders were taken into custody and permission not given for the meeting.
"The permission for the public meeting was denied by the local administration and the Congress leaders including Gandhi, Digvijay Singh and Rita Bahuguna Joshi were taken into custody under the CrPC 151 and would be released outside the boundary of the state," Singh said.
He said Congress leaders were held so that anti-social elements do not disturb law and order taking advantage of the situation.
He said the prohibitory orders clamped in the trouble-torn area, which had seen farmers unrest over land acquisition since Saturday last, had come to an end on its own last night and the district adminstration had not found it fit to re-impose it following prevailing peace.
The prohibitory orders, were, however, re-imposed in the area on Wednesday, he said.