BJP slams Rahul Gandhi's Greater Noida visit
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday slammed the visit by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to Bhatta Parsaul village in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida, the scene of violent farmers' agitation, and called it a "drama".delhi Updated: May 11, 2011 18:24 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday slammed the visit by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to Bhatta Parsaul village in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida, the scene of violent farmers' agitation, and called it a "drama".
"Rahul Gandhi who went to the village to meet the protesting farmers is himself sitting on strike and that is hampering the law and order situation there," Rajnath Singh, former BJP president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, told reporters in New Delhi.
"It is disheartening to know that when senior congress leaders like Digvijay Singh and Rahul Gandhi visited the village, the (Uttar Pradesh) government removed Section 144 (that bans assembly of more than five people)," he said.
"I would like to appeal to Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that they should call their leaders back and there should not be any drama (over the issue)," he said.
Four people were killed in Bhatta Parsaul village when agitating farmers, protesting land acquisition, and police exchanged gunfire on Saturday.
Rahul Gandhi reached the village at 6am on Wednesday and sat with the protesting farmers to show solidarity with their cause.
"These people should not create a ruckus," said Rajnath Singh, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police Monday for flouting the prohibitory orders that were clamped after last Saturday's violence.
The farmers are agitating for higher compensation for land taken for constructing the 156-km Yamuna Expressway, which will link New Delhi with Agra and reduce travel time by an hour.
The violence was sparked after angry farmers held three employees of the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation hostage.
When the police tried to rescue the government employees, the farmers fought a pitched battle that led to the deaths in exchange of firing.
Fifteen people were also critically injured in the clashes.
Supporting the cause of the farmers, Singh said: "Farmers who had left the village should be called back. The BJP believes that till the land acquisition amendment bill is passed, it should be ensured that the (state) government does not take any action on the land owned by the farmers."
He also promised to take up the compensation issue in the next session of Parliament.