Congress on Monday staged a protest against the NDA government’s move to amend the land acquisition Act, and termed it “anti-farmer”.
Raising slogans such as “‘Kisan Virodhi Narendra Modi” against the Prime Minister, the party workers led by senior leaders Jairam Ramesh, Raj Babbar, Randeep Surjewala and Youth Congress leader Amrinder Singh Raja Brar held protest at Jantar Mantar. The foot-march against the proposed amendments had started on Friday from Bhatta-Parsaul village in Greater Noida and reached Rajghat Sunday night.
The protest, however, was marked by a clash between Congress workers and the police. Police used batons and water canons to disperse the protesters, leading to injuries to some Congress workers, including Brar, when they tried to break barricades at Jantar Mantar and proceed towards Parliament. “(Our) fight will go on, both in Parliament and outside against the amendments. We will keep fighting against it,” Ramesh said, while Babbar criticised the government’s move to “do away” with the consent clause in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
“We are completely against the amendments.
In the (proposed) law, farmers don’t have the right to take decisions regarding their own land. Even if I take a mere pen from you, I will ask you. Then how come a farmer, for whom land is his mother, is being asked to hand it over to someone else (without consent)” Babbar asked.
Surjewala said the agitation launched by Congress along with farmers will “unmask” the government’s “anti-farmer face”.
“This is India Youth Congress’ (IYC) rally from Bhatta-Parsaul to Parliament. Modi’s black law will disappear. BJP’s anti-farmer face will be unmasked. Both Congress and farmers will win,” he said.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi slammed the administration for using “high-handed” and “brutal” methods against the protesters.
“Over 50 persons are injured and over 500 party workers detained at Parliament Street Police Station… It is not going to do away (with the protest). The Government cannot wish it away. It is not restricted to Congress and some Opposition parties, the protest has spread even to the NDA allies. It will not remain limited to Delhi. It will spread in every nook and corner of India,” he said.
On being asked about Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s absence during this period, Singhvi said this was an attempt by the government to “divert” attention and talk about his absence, which is a “non issue”.
“Today’s agitation shows Rahul Gandhi is coordinating everything and nothing has stopped,” he added.