Lucknow: Dismissing criticism that Rahul
Gandhi`s `padyatra` from Bhatta-Parsaul was a "political
stunt", the Congress on Tuesday said there were "no party flags or
workers" with the leader who is only trying to know the real
problems being faced by farmers affected by land acquisition.
"Rahul`s padyatra is an attempt to know the real
problems being faced by the farmers affected due to land
acquisition. As the Centre will be amending land acquisition
Act, he will be giving suggestions on certain points about
that," senior Congress Digvijay Singh, who is in-charge of UP,
told reporters here.
About BJP leader Rajnath Singh and ruling BSP in Uttar
Pradesh terming terming Rahul`s padyatra a "political stunt
and a "drama", Singh said, "People know better.
"Unlike Rajnathji, we do not organise demonstrations
for photographs only. If he goes to villages in this rainy
season, I will appreciate him," Digvijay Singh said.
"You can see that Rahul is among farmers. There are no
party workers or flags around him in his yatra," he said.
In Delhi, Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed echoed the
views, saying it was the leader`s initiative to get a first
hand knowledge of the problems of the farmers.
Asked about Rahul`s schedule during the padyatra,
Digvijay Singh said that it was not known for how many days
the tour will continue.
"Wo kitne din padyatra karenge ye pata nahi... Ye to
unke upar hai", (It`s upto him. We are not aware as to how
many days he will undertake padyatra)," Singh said in reply to
About the July 9 `kisan mahapanchyat`, Singh said that
after hearing farmers and their representatives, Rahul will
deliver his address.
"There will be one stage, where there would be no
party flags and banners and those not associated with the
party can also come and air their views.
"We urge all farmers and their associations to
participate in the mahapanchyat," he said.
Asked whether it was a non-political programme, Singh
said, "It would obviously be a political show but it would
provide a platform to all those who want to speak out on
Terming Congress a pro-farmers party, Singh said it
had given five to six times more money to states for
Claiming that corruption of Rs 300 crore was detected
in Sonbhadra district alone in implementation of central
schemes, Singh said the Congress would be organsing a sit-in
at district magistrate`s office on Aug one to raise the issue.
About state`s land acquisition policy, Singh said that
it had many flaws and needed amendment.