The Congress has planned a march on foot by farmers of Western Uttar Pradesh and party activists from Bhatta and Parsaul on March 13 to Delhi. The march will be led by former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh.
The party’s two-pronged strategy is to rally as much support from farmers and civil society groups as possible outside Parliament and from Opposition parties within Parliament against the amendment of the UPA’s Land Bill of 2013.
Before he left the country, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his team including Mr. Ramesh and Ajay Maken, who is now president of the Delhi unit of the Congress, had planned a series of protests since the government brought in an ordinance amending the UPA’s flagship Land Acquisition Law.
Bhatta and Parsaul are the two villages in Western UP that saw a prolonged and violent agitation by farmers against land acquisition in 2011 against the Mayawati-led State government. Two farmers were killed in police-farmer clashes in the area in May 2011.
Following the agitation, the Congress vice president did a three-day march on foot in the area later that year, gathering feedback from farmers and extending support to the cause. He also led a delegation of farmers to meet the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to demand a new Land Acquisition Law.