Cong returns to Bhatta Parsaul for farmer agitation
The party has decided to hold rallies and agitations across India, especially in places where land disputes are burning issues, to woo farmers and land-holders against the recent tweaking of the land law through an ordinance.india Updated: Jan 14, 2015 12:08 IST
A day after the Congress attacked the Narendra Modi government over its "anti-farmer" land ordinance, senior party leader Jairam Ramesh will attend a farmers' meeting on Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh's Bhatta Parsaul where Rahul Gandhi had launched a protest against farm land acquisition in 2011.
Ramesh, a former Union rural development minister, will attend the farmers' meeting, along with former Union minister Pradeep Jain Aditya, in Bhatta Parsaul in Greater Noida on Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) spokesperson Dhirendra Singh said in a statement.
"Matters concerning the lives of millions of farmers in this country cannot and should not be decided by a mere ordinance... The land ordinance aims to avoid taking consent of the farmers and refuse them a say in the process," the UPCC spokesperson said.
Congress has been alleging that the ordinance promulgated the government takes away the powers given to the farmers by the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, enacted by the UPA-II government in 2013.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday for for his anti-poor policies and criticised the government for taking the ordinance route on important issues such as land acquisition and coal mines.
"While the Prime Minister makes much of lowering inflation, he does not mention how he has lowered the income of farmers," Sonia said, pointing to the 3% increase of minimum support price of select crops.
The land acquisition act was a brainchild of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his agitation at Bhatta Parsaul had led to the formulation of the legislation, providing better compensation to farmers and giving them a say in the land acquisition process.
The party has decided to hold rallies and agitations across the country, especially in places where land disputes are burning issues, to woo farmers and land-holders against the recent tweaking of the land law through an ordinance.
One such rally was held on January 5 in Noida.
The party also plans to club the fuel price hike and lack of proper compensation for crops with the land issue to champion farmers' cause and add more firepower to its movements against the Modi government.
Ramesh is part of the three-member group set up by the party to finalise its strategy on the land ordinance issue. The other two members are former commerce minister Anand Sharma and ex-food minister KV Thomas.
The three leaders had met Sonia Gandhi a few days ago and briefed her about the agitation plans.
A meeting of the Congress Working Committee has also been called on Thursday to discuss the land ordinance issue, along with other political matters.
(With PTI inputs.)