Sunday, July 10, 2011

Your fight is our fight

"Although the union government is being run by coalition partners and different states have different kinds of problems, the proposed land acquisition bill finally passed would be farmer friendly."

While hearing the grievances of farmers, Gandhi said: "We have a coalition government at the centre in Delhi. There are a number of partners. We have to hold discussions with them; we are talking to our partners. We will bring a pro-farmers' bill; we are trying our best to pass it in the next session of the Lok Sabha."

"It takes time to make a new law and the union government is working on it. If we make the law in haste, it will be wrong. We wish to make a new law which can last for at least next 30 to 40 years if not half of the century."

"We have to find a solution to land acquisition and we can find that through dialogue alone. Don't suppress people and their voices - what the UP government did while acquiring their land forcibly in Greater Noida. You need to involve people, if you don't involve the poor, it amounts to atrocities on them."

He went on to say that the Congress party runs the union government and "we will do our best to give you a good, new land law".

"The state government's intention here does not seem to be good. It seems the state wishes to help only one person - the builders, not the farmers."

He, however, said, "If the Congress government comes to power in UP, it will be your government. It will not be the Congress government but the government of the people of Uttar Pradesh.".

"Your fight is our fight," Gandhi said while charging the Uttar Pradesh government with running the state "to benefit the builders and not farmers".

"Normally governments elected by people are run for the poor. But the Uttar Pradesh government is running for the benefit of big builders. It has forgotten the farmers and labourers, who have toiled and shed their sweat to provide food for the nation," the Amethi MP said.

"Thefts are committed in the dead of night. But here thefts were being committed in broad daylight. The state government is getting this theft done on farmers. Lucknow is getting this theft of land done against all of you and theft against thousands of farmers in UP," Gandhi said.

Claiming that the state's land acquisition policy was full of flaws, he said that such policies should be framed after talks with farmers to take them into confidence.

"Though the Mayawati government brought a new land acquisition policy a few days ago, after our pressure, the new policy was meant not for farmers but for someone else.

It also has a number of shortcomings," said Rahul while questioning the state's decision to exclude all acquisitions already taken place.

"Why should the farmers of Bhatta Parsaul or Tappal not be heard and not given due compensation for land as per new rates. They have given their lives and why does the government forget their loss," said Gandhi, who was referring to the Greater Noida villages where he had joined the farmers' stir in May, and called for the new land policy to be made applicable to farmers with retrospective effect.

Gandhi said farmers were not against development and needed to be involved in the process.

"We are also not against development. Roads should be made. Development is need of the hour. Villages should be linked to cities. But the question is how this will be done.

"Golion se banegi ki ya baat cheet se banegi (this will be done through bullets or through dialogue)," he said.

While accusing the Mayawati government of pursuing "anti-farmer and anti-labourer" policies, Gandhi asked the farmers to join him in the Aligarh Mahapanchayat on July 9 and express their views openly.

"While we are with you, you should show the government what the farmers of the state think about its land policies. The nation will listen to your voice. Your fight is our fight," said Gandhi while garnering support for the Aligarh mahapanchayat.

The AICC general secretary said that the Centre's policies are sympathetic towards the interests of farmers and labourers but claimed that the UP government was busy "constructing mall and stadia to favour the big builders".

"Your land is taken away and you don't even know when your land was taken away. You are not even told about it. You come to know of it only after it is taken away forcibly," Gandhi said. 

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