New Delhi: Congress on Monday said it will take to the streets against the government's controversial ordinance amending Land Acquisition Act and chalked out agitational programmes across all states ahead of the Budget session likely in mid-February.
At a meeting of party general secretaries called by AICC general secretary (organization) Janardan Dwivedi, it was decided that all states will hold demonstrations and other forms of agitations including 'Chetna Abhiyan' (awareness campaign) among farmers by February 15 informing them of the "dangers" of the Ordinance on the land bill.
Former Rural Development Minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh briefed the party leaders on salient features of the Ordinance and how to tell the farmers that doing away with the consent clause will have adverse affect on them in the long run.
Besides the party has also decided to target the government on fuel prices saying that benefits of fall in international crude prices are not being passed on to consumers.
The party will also take up the issue of hardships being faced by farmers due black-marketing of urea fertiliser.
"The changes, which have been brought in the land acquisition Act are anti-farmer. The removal of consent clause from the bill is a matter of concern. When the bill was passed the BJP had supported it. What happened now all of a sudden that they had to bring changes into it," Dwivedi said after the meeting.
He said that all general secretaries in-charge of states have been asked to direct their state leadership to hold agitational programmes.
The nationwide stir is aimed at painting the government as 'anti-farmer'.
The Land Acquisition Act, a landmark legislation of UPA- II, was the brainchild of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and the party is accusing the Narendra Modi government of seeking to take the 'heart and soul' out of the legislation.
The party has decided to take an aggressive stance in the coming days on issues like the land ordinance, hike of excise duty on petrol and diesel and creation of NITI Aayog.
AICC has accused the government of bringing the ordinance to help "vested interests" and has pointed out that the Land Acquisition bill was finalised by a Parliamentary Committee headed by BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan, now the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Congress leaders have been insisting that President Pranab Mukherjee's action of seeking clarifications from the government on the ordinance was "a very serious thing". The party has said it would challenge the ordinance at every forum and raise the issue both inside and outside Parliament.