Former Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley and Muktar Abbas Naqvi were on Thursday arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police while they were holding a dharna at Ambedkar Maidan in Gaziabad district. The BJP leaders had accused UP CM Mayawati of unleashing a 'reign of terror' on the farmers of Bhatta Parsaul in Noida.
Condemning the violence in Bhatta Parsaul, which witnessed violent clashes between police and farmers, Singh said, "Mayawati has lost her moral right to continue as chief minister and she should resign."
"The land acquisition law needs to be scrapped and I shall raise the issue in Parliament. The UP government must stop acquiring the land until the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill comes from Parliament," he said.
The farmers in Noida have been protesting the state government's acquisition of their land for the Yamuna Expressway project, demanding a higher compensation. Four people have been killed in the clashes between local villagers and the police.
The BJP has claimed that the state government is targeting 'helpless villagers who are fighting for a just cause'.
"Mayawati is responsible for the violence which broke out two days back, leading to casualties. If she had discussed the matter with the farmers, then such an incident would not have happened," Singh told rediff.com on the phone.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj and its ally Janata Dal's leader Sharad Yadav were expected to join the dharna later in the day.
Mayawati, who completes four years in office on Friday, has accused the opposition parties of engineering violence by instigating the farmers.
A state government spokesman said that the farmers had been paid adequate compensation for the acquisition of their land. "But now they are asking for more because the political parties have incited them," he said.