Congress pins hopes on land stir

The Congress hopes to begin its resurrection, after a string of debilitating electoral defeats, by leading the protests against the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act that the NDA government wants passed in the Budget session of Parliament.

Party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is spearheading the Congress campaign against the December 29 ordinance that amended the Act, is likely to address a sit-in at Jantar Mantar on February 25, when the Budget session is on. The government wants to bring the ordinance as a Bill.

“The Congress is carrying out this agitation in coordination with civil society groups and farmer unions. The ordinance undoes an endeavour that was 100 years in the making,” a source in Mr. Gandhi’s team told The Hindu. A senior Congress leader said the party had decided to adopt the “agitation route to take up the causes of the people.”

The party believes the Land Acquisition Act will give it traction in rural areas, while it will be able to rally Opposition parties against the government on the issue.

Significantly, while the government attempted to reach out to the Opposition to seek support in passing Bills, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel tweeted on Saturday: “It will be bizarre for the government to be expecting support from the Congress after it has diluted UPA’s policies and programmes for the needy.”

On the eve of the session that begins on Monday, Congress leaders close to Mr. Gandhi will address a farmers’ rally at Charauli village near Aligarh in Western U.P., on Sunday. The Congress vice-president had carried out a two-day march on foot in Western Uttar Pradesh to garner support from farmers affected by land acquisition in 2011 and gather feedback.

The Bill, for which the UPA government worked on for over two years and conducted more than a dozen public consultations, led to the passage of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The Sunday rally is the third of its kind since the ordinance.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 12:59:06 AM |

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