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Rahul Gandhi resumes padyatra in UP

July 06, 2011 12:15 IST
Rahul Gandhi resumed his march on Wednesday to make common cause with farmers in Uttar Pradesh over land acquisition, after an overnight halt at the Rampur Bangar village where he slept in the open.

The 41-year-old Congress general secretary is on the second day of his padayatra -- 'Kisan Sandesh Yatra' -- in western Uttar Pradesh, a footmarch billed as a campaign against Chief Minister Mayawati ahead of the Congress's proposed 'kisan mahapanchayat' in the neighbouring Aligarh district on July 9.

After trudging around 25 km on foot in the dusty tracks of rural areas on Tuesday covering five villages, Rahul took a halt at Rampur Bangar village in Gautam Budh Nagar district for the night where he stayed at the house of former village head Kalicharan Sharma. He also had dinner with the Sharma family and preferred to sleep on a cot on the terrace.

The Congress leader resumed his yatra at 6.20 am and visited Sabautajafrabad and Alawalpur villages.

"At both the places he held chaupal with the villagers and enquired about their problems and issues," Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh said.

Throwing a fresh challenge at Mayawati, Rahul on Tuesday reached Bhatta-Parsaul for the second time to kickstart his foot march nearly two months after his visit to the twin villages, the epicentre of farmers' protests that had led to his midnight arrest.

Addressing a chaupal (informal assembly) in one of the villages, Rahul said the magnitude in which land was being acquired in UP was not happening anywhere else in the country.

"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.

He said that farmers, whose land was being acquired, come to know when the process is already over.

"This is not being said by one person, but thousands. People were killed in Bhatta Parsaul, but it was said that nothing happened. People were killed in Tappal. Your voice must be heard against the wrong doing," he said.

He said the Centre was bringing a bill on the land acquisition and it would be done properly.

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