Ahead of its “mahapanchayat” in Aligarh on July 9, the Congress on Sunday started mobilising people against the alleged misrule of Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh.
“The rally in Aligarh will be a massive “jansunwayi” [public hearing], where farmers and people from other sections of society will narrate their plight under Mayawati's rule. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will address the gathering and also personally listen to people's grievances,” Minister of State for Communications Sachin Pilot told The Hindu .
The congregation at Aligarh would be attended by people from across the State and highlight the “lawlessness that currently prevails in the State, be it the case of police brutality, grabbing of land by State administration or spurt in incidents of crimes,” he said.
Mr. Gandhi would talk to the victims of such crimes, said Mr. Pilot, who held a meeting of Congress workers in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
“In the next few days I will visit all the districts in western U.P. to ensure that people in large numbers reach Aligarh. The U.P. government is terrified by Mr. Gandhi's presence in the State. The Aligarh rally will be a turning point in U.P. politics…Mr. Gandhi is committed to fight for the rights of the people of the State,” he said.
Referring to the recent cases of rape and murders in the State, the Minister said the kin of missing villagers of Bhatta-Parsaul in Gautam Budh Nagar district, which saw police allegedly committing atrocities against villagers over the land acquisition issue, were still awaiting the return of their family members, while people belonging to the lowest strata of society were facing heinous crimes.
Mr. Pilot criticised the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration for not granting permission to the Congress to hold rallies in rural areas of Bhatta-Parsaul and Jewar, but agreeing to the sub-city of Noida. He also accused the State government of conspiring to disturb the rally.
“The Congress workers have been complaining that the private bus operators in U.P. are being threatened by the police and administration not to give their buses and vehicles for the Congress rally. We know the U.P. government will take all steps to demoralise our workers and create hurdles in the successful holding of the rally, but the people of the State will not allow the administration's strategy to succeed,” the Minister added.