New Delhi, July 1: After Bhatta Parsaul, Rahul Gandhi will reach out to farmers in Aligarh in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh with the Congress organising a ‘kisan mahapanchayat' there on July 9.
The decision to shift the venue of the ‘grand assembly' of farmers to Aligarh, which has also witnessed agitation over land acquisition issue, was taken after Mayawati Government declined permission to hold the meet at Bhatta Parsaul in Greater Noida, where Rahul had joined the farmers' stir in May.
The decision was taken after UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi met party general secretary Digvijay Singh and other senior leaders in this regard, Girish Srivastav, the media in-charge of Joshi, said.
The meet will highlight the problems of farmers especially that of land acquisition.
The Bhatta Parsaul stir had seen Mayawati on the backfoot and Digvijay Singh had recently remarked that the UP Chief Minister was “afraid of Rahul Gandhi”.
Gandhi made a dramatic entry into Bhatta Parsaul during the peak of the farmers' agitation and his subsequent comments on rape of women and bones in ash heaps found there had raised a strorm leading to a war of words between BSP and Congress.
UPCC spokesman Subodh Srivasatava said the Aligarh district administration has granted permission for the mahapanchayat.
“The party has got the permission to organise the mahapanchayat at the exhibition ground in Aligarh on July 9 which would be addressed by Rahul Gandhi and UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi besides other senior leaders,” he said in Lucknow.
Consultations would be held with farmers, committees among others on the proposed amendment in the Land Acquisition Act, Srivastava said.
After the Congress leader took up the cause of farmers of Bhatta Parsaul following police action on them there, Gandhi has emerged as a leading voice raising issues concerning farmers' rights and this frustrated the state government which was not granting permission for holding the mahapanchayat but the party was firm in its resolve. The UPCC president had yesterday said that permission was sought for holding the mahapanchayat in Bhatta Parsaul on Wednesday but the government had denied it.
“As an alternative to Bhatta Parsaul, we had suggested Rajopura and Dhankohar villages near Bhatta Parsaul and Jewar area but the government did not agree,” she had said adding that later permission was sought for organising the programme in Tappal area of Aligarh district which was also disallowed.
Srivasatava said that all preparations for the mahapanchayat have been completed. PTI