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Rahul meets farmers ahead of Kisan rally

Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Making his first public appearance after a nearly two-month long sabbatical, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today met farmers from various states ahead of tomorrow’s Kisan rally and sought their views on the changes being brought in UPA’s land law by the Narendra Modi government.

Rahul, accompanied by Rajasthan PCC Chief Sachin Pilot, met several delegations of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh and also held consultations with a group of farmers’ representatives at his residence here.

The Congress VP, who is expected to lead the Congress’ charge on the contentious land bill, will address the Kisan rally tomorrow, which is being seen as some sort of a relaunch of Rahul, who is being hailed as a “mature” leader who would restore the party’s health after its downturn in Lok Sabha polls.

“Tomorrow’s rally would be a historic rally. Lakhs of farmers from across the country will get together in Delhi and we want to expose this BJP government for the way farmers have been duped only to pay back favours of some people. The BJP is ‘conspiring’ to take over the land of small farmers,” Pilot said.

A senior party functionary said that besides the rally, Rahul will also be speaking in the Lok Sabha and is expected to take on the government after the second part of the Budget session begins on Monday.

With the Sunday rally being the first major public outreach event for the Congress Vice President after his leave, the party is pulling out all stops to galvanise support for the rally.

The delegation included farmers from Bhatta Parsaul village from where Rahul had launched a “padyatra” in 2011 against forcible land acquisition of farmers, a protest that had culminated in passage of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

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