Anna Hazare’s impromptu fast in Tihar Jail seems to have had unintended consequences on Rahul Gandhi’s plans for the upcoming UP state elections.
In July Rahul started his four-day padyatra defying prohibitory orders in Bhatta-Parsaul, using the issue of land acquisition to find a toe-hold in UP. Little did he know that Anna’s fast would ensure his well-laid plans go awry.
Inspired by Anna the same farmers who walked with Gandhi are now planning to march to Delhi on October 18 to protest against land acquisitions. “Anna’s call has struck a chord with us.
The Centre keeps postponing the land acquisition law, the UP government hounds us, and our brethren are being killed in Pune.
Who is responsible? Does Rahul Gandhi really bother about anything beyond electoral gains?” asked Ajay Pal Sharma, a member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) that spearheaded the Greater Noida agitation.
“Nothing changed for farmers after Gandhi’s visit to Bhatta-Parsaul. He visited the villages with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections. What did we get? Politicians have reduced us to a joke. Anna’s movement is against corruption and we fully support it,” said Raju Mallick, BKU’s spokesperson.
Another village elder said: “Anna has shown the way. Look what the governments are doing. Rahul came once and went away. Now the police come daily and harass us. We pleaded with him to ensure the cases are withdrawn. But nothing happened.