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Protest against Land Bill: Rahul Gandhi is very much in charge of things, says Congress

The Congress on Monday slammed the NDA government over the issue of party workers clashing with the police, saying that protests against Land Acquisition Bill would continue at PCC and DCC levels.


Protest against Land Bill: Rahul Gandhi is very much in charge of things, says Congress
Pic Courtesy: INC India

Delhi: The Congress on Monday slammed the NDA government over the issue of party workers clashing with the police, saying that protests against Land Acquisition Bill would continue at PCC and DCC levels.

Addressing the press in the national capital, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said that farmers and land owners could be deprived of their land with “the draconian law."

"These protests won't die down. They will continue at PCC and DCC levels. We condemn the high-handedness of the government on protests against Land Bill,” he said, adding, “"Consent and SIA won't apply in Industrial Corridors and infra projects including PPP. Most acquisitions fall under these categories."

He further said, “Farmers and land owners can be deprived off their land with this draconian law.”

On the clash of Congress workers with the police, Singhvi said, “We condemn the high-handedness of the government on protests against Land Bill,” adding, “There was brutal lathicharge today on Youth Congress activists.”

More on the contentious Land Bill, the Congress leader opined, “Land can be acquired one kilometre on either side of the corridor. If land was taken then one had to show it has been utilised. BJP has removed this clause."

“The truth is that if land is acquired now there is no particular time frame specified for setting up of any project,” he added.

Singhvi also maintained that “under earlier law, land had to be returned after 5 years if it was not required. That clause no longer exists. On the Land Bill issue we have the support of UPA allies and even NDA partners.”

On the issue of absence of Rahul Gandhi, who is on a sabbatical, the Congress leader said, “There is an attempt by the ruling party to divert attention and talk about Rahul Gandhi's absence which is a non-issue,” adding, “Today's agitation shows Rahul Gandhi is very much in charge of things.”

Hundreds of Congress workers today clashed with police during a protest against the government's Land Acquisition bill, saying it was anti-farmer.

Police resorted to lathi-charge and used water canons, leading to injuries to some including Youth Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Brar, when Congress workers tried to break barricades at Jantar Mantar to proceed towards Parliament, as per PTI.

Senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Ambika Soni, Ahmed Patel addressed the protesters who gathered at Jantar Mantar.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was not present in the protest, expressed her solidarity with the protesters in a message through Patel.

"Soniaji has said that she was always with them and will continue to back and support the movement," Patel said reading out Gandhi's message.

Promising to block the bill's passage in the Rajya Sabha, Azad termed the ordinance as an attempt to weaken the Food Security law passed by the UPA government.

"You continue protesting outside the Parliament, we will try not let the bill get passed when it is introduced in the Parliament," the Leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha said.

"We are not talking about changing the shape of the bill. We are not for any amendment of the bill. We want this bill to go lock, stock and barrel," he said.

The rally was a culmination of Youth Congress' foot march against the Land Acquisition Bill launched on Friday from Bhatta-Parsaul village in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida district which reached Rajghat here last night.

(With PTI inputs)

Will Rahul Gandhi's absence during Land Bill protests de-motivate party workers? in Nation on LockerDome

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