Rahul, Maya trade charges over land

Rahul, Maya trade charges over land

War of words: Congress scion vows to oust UP chief minister

Throwing a challenge to chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi gave ample indication that land acquisition would be the Congress party’s main issue for next year’s Assembly polls in the state.

Mayawati on the other hand has held the Congress responsible for the backwardness of the state. The latest increase in the price of petrol is an indication of the party’s anti-people policies, according to her.

Addressing a two-day state-level convention of the party in Varanasi, Rahul Gandhi questioned the state government’s claim that everything was alright at Bhatta-Parsaul villages in Greater Noida. He repeated his allegation that the farmers were scared and atrocities had taken place there.

He challenged the government to order a judicial probe if the situation in the villages was indeed normal. He asked why then were prohibitory orders under section 144 still in force. “Bhatta-Parsaul is only the beginning... just see what we do in the days to come, the young Congress MP said. He exhorted the party workers and leaders to take up issues that concern the common people as only then would the party be able to get their support.

“There is no dearth of issues in UP and I have plenty of time... I will go to every village... we will fight the BSP in every village, house and city on the issue of farmers,” Rahul said amidst cheers from the participants including many central ministers, legislators, MPs and senior leaders. “We are not fighting to win elections... our fight is for the future of the people of the state... we want the state to progress... the BSP government is not functioning at all,” he declared.

Mayawati said at a meeting of MPs and MLAs that her party would organise a state-wide protest on May 31 against the petrol price hike. The UPA government at the Centre had hiked the price of petrol by Rs.23 in the past two years, she pointed out.