Congress leaders and workers staged demonstrations in various parts of the state on Thursday to protest against the failure of NDA government at the centre and Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.
Congress MPs, MLAs, MLC sand workers came out on the streets to stop movement of trains and vehicular traffic at several places in the state.
However, barring Sri Prakash Jaiswal and Pradeep Aditya Jain, most of the former union ministers, including Beni Prasad Verma, were conspicuous by their absence.
As the police resorted to lathicharge on Congress workers in Agra and Kanpur Dehat, a number of partymen were injured.
This was the first agitation of the Congress after its debacle in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the participation of partymen enthused the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) leaders.
Besides land acquisition bill, rail fare hike and inflation, the Congress leaders used the opportunity to express their ire against the law and order situation in the state in the backdrop of the killing of an advocate in Allahabad on Wednesday.
The Congress workers also flayed issuing of summons to former prime minister Manmohan Singh in a case linked to coal block allocations. UPCC president Nirmal Khatri had given a call for rail roko and highway chakka jam across the state on March 12 to coincide with the historical Dandi March.
In Vidhan Sabha, Congress MLAs, led by Pradeep Mathur, displayed placards targeting prime minister Narendra Modi with slogans against land acquisition bill.
“Our agitation was a grand success and the people extending support to partymen as they blocked movement of trains and road traffic,” said Khatri.
In Lucknow, the party leaders stopped trains at three places. Khatri led the partymen to stop Varuna Express, Sealdah Express and Ganga Gomti Express near Cantt railway crossing for some time. Party MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi blocked Howrah-Amritsar Express at Charbagh railway station. A group of partymen, led by Shailendra Tiwari, blocked the movement of a train at Daliganj railway crossing. Khatri, along with district party president Gaurav Chaudhary, also held ‘chakka jam’ on Lucknow-Kanpur highway.
In Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha seat of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the partymen led by Congress MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh stopped Triveni Express.
In Amethi, the agitation has been deferred for a few days. Congress Rajya Sabha member PL Punia led the agitation in Barabanki while Rajya Sabha members Pramod Tiwari and Sanjay Singh were detained as they blocked a highway in Ghaziabad.
AICC secretary Prakash Joshi led the agitation in Moradabad. Another AICC secretary Juber Khan, along with party MLA Ajai Rai and former MP Rajesh Mishra, led the protests at Andharpur in Varanasi. Congress MLA Lokeshpati Tripathi led the agitation in Mirzapur.
In Bareilly, former MP Praveen Aron, his wife and former city mayor Supriya Aron along with their supporters were detained during the agitation.