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Rahul criticises UP govt, BSP hits back
Gandhi in a press conference said that women were being raped and people were being thrashed in the village.
New Delhi: The Bahujan Samaj Party hit back at Rahul Gandhi on Monday saying that he was misleading the people of Bhatta Parsaul and there was no truth in the allegations of rape being levelled by Gandhi against the police in Uttar Pradesh.
They also said that the statements made by Gandhi showed his immaturity and lack of political grasp of the state.
The BSP blamed the Congress for simply playing politics over the farmers issue and if they really want to help, then they should see to it that the Land Acquisition Act gets implemented soon.
The BSP reacted after Rahul Gandhi in a press conference told reporters that women were being raped and people were being thrashed in the village.
Rahul, on Monday, had taken the land acquisition issue in Uttar Pradesh to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's door. He complained to the PM about alleged "repression" and "murder" of farmers in the Mayawati-ruled state.
Emerging from an half-an-hour meeting, Gandhi alleged huge heaps of ash carrying burnt bodies have been found in the villages where farmers were agitating for better compensation for their land acquired by Maywati government.
Gandhi also showed the Prime Minister pictures purportedly of bodies burnt and other forms of violence against farmers and their family members.
"The issue here is a more fundamental one with regard to these villages in particular and a large number of villages in UP all down the Agra highway, where state repression is being used, where people are being murdered. Quite severe atrocities taking place there. There is a set of large 74 heaps of ash there with dead bodies inside. Everybody in the village knows it. We can give you pictures. Women have been raped, people have been thrashed. Houses have been destroyed," Gandhi told reporters.
The AICC general secretary said he was "very concerned" about what was going on in the villages there and facilitated the meeting of farmers with the Prime Minister so that they can put forward their views and the PM listened to it. It was a delegation of eight persons.
To a question why the Centre is yet to amend the Land Acquisition Act even as he had met the Prime Minister even last year with the same demand, Gandhi said it was taking time as the legislation was a complex one.
"We are committed to Land Acquistion Act. Land Acquisition is a complicated piece of legislation that we are working at. We are confident that in the coming session, the Act will be passed," Rahul said.
He said the amendment is under consideration and "we are committed to it and realize that it is a complex piece of legislation. And that is why it is taking some time", Gandhi said adding the issue was a larger one.
"What I am concerned about how we are treating our people. Most of the people (farmers) said that they are more than happy to give their land for development. They said if a road is being built, they have no problem. Most poor people want development in the country and they are ready for the sacrifice. The question is how we treat those poor people. Do we treat them fairly or do we brutalize them? And that is why I brought these people to the PM because after all they are Indian people and we have to look after their interests as well," Gandhi said.
He said Singh listened "quite patiently" to the farmers who had good a conversation with them.
Uttar Pradesh goes to assembly polls next year and Congress, which is buoyant after an impressive performance in 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the state, is hoping to regain power in the state. Congress has been taking up the farmers' issues in a big way for quite a few years now.
(With additional information from PTI)
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