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Cong to intensify protests against BJP govt on land ordinance

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New Delhi: Stepping up its offensive against the Centre over the controversial Land Acquisition ordinance issue, Congress today said that it will be staging a dharna at the Jantar Mantar here on February 25 to protest against the BJP government’s “anti-farmer” move.

The announcement was made by Congress spokesman Ajoy Kumar, who said that party’s Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is expected to lead the stir.

Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will address a Kisaan Mahapanchayat on Sunday in Chauroli village of District Gautambudh Nagar, he said.

He had earlier addressed a similar Mahapanchayat at Bhatta-Parsaul, Mirzapur and Gharbara.

Party leaders have been saying so far that the Congress will take up the issues concerning the farmers of the country and “we will welcome any social organisation or any individual joining the Congress party in such endeavours.”

Congress has been maintaining that Land and Acquisition Bill introduced through ordinance, was not only anti-farmer but also “against the soul and spirit” of the Right to Fair Compensation Law.

Gandhian Anna Hazare, along with farmer’s bodies, is scheduled to hold a two-day protest against the ordinance fromĀ  Monday at the Jantar Mantar.

The veteran social activist had been sharply critical of the government’s move to do away with the provisions of taking consent of a big majority of farmers before acquiring their land.

“Hazare can join our agitation”, Kumar said, when asked whether the party would participate in the Gandhian’s protest at the same venue on February 23, the opening day of the Budget Session of Parliament.’

The protest in Delhi is the culmination of the agitations being carried out at block, district and state levels. The event at Chauroli is being organised a day before the Hazare-led protest.

Chauroli is situated on the border of Mathura, Aligarh and Bulandshahr districts. Leaders close to Rahul Gandhi like Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Sachin Pilot, Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda and former Sports Minister Jitendra Singh will also be joining the protest.

A press release by Uttar Pradesh Congress said that earlier also many ‘mahapanchayats’ have been organised at different places in Gautam Budh Nagar to raise the voice of farmers and the purpose of these panchayats is to “expose the anti-farmer and anti-poor policies” of the Modi government.

Hoping that this Kisaan rally will spread the movement of farmers toward western UP, UPCC spokesperson Dhirendra Singh said, “upcoming Budget Session of Parliament will be full of protests until the Modi government takes back this ordinance on land acquisition.”

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