Rahul halts at Rampur village | india | Hindustan Times
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Rahul halts at Rampur village

india Updated: Jul 05, 2011 22:19 IST

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will halt for the night at Rampur village at the end of first day of his foot march (padyatra) that started from Bhatta-Parsaul on Tuesday morning to meet farmers affected by land acquisition by the Mayawati government.

Gandhi, who reached Rampur in the evening, addressed a panchayat of villagers and interacted with farmers about issues facing them.

He is scheduled to proceed to Jevar in Gautam Budh Nagar early morning on Wednesday.

Congress leaders said that Gandhi is staying at the house of a party worker.

They said that Gandhi's march will culminate in kisan mahapanchayat being held by the party in Aligarh July 9.

The party has decided to erect a "non-political" platform for farmers to speak about their problems at the rally, which will be addressed by Gandhi.

Gandhi had begun the day early, surprising state authorities by reaching Bhatta-Parsaul, about 60 km from national capital, at 6am despite being denied permission to hold a rally there.

Accompanied by about 60 state policemen, a sniffer dog squad, fire brigade and ambulance vehicles, besides the elite Special Protection Group (SPG), the Rahul cavalcade walked 12 km from the twin villages of Bhatta-Parsaul - the epicentre of a farmers' agitation against land acquisition by the state government - to reach Nangla Bhattauna by noon.

Gandhi also visited Akhepur, Mirzapur, Rosa, Rustampur, Bhypur and Nagla-Hukum Singh villages.

Gandhi's visit to the area, a direct challenge to the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh ahead of elections next year, comes about two months after he was detained in Bhatta-Parsaul during a visit after the violence in May.