Thousands of farmers from UP led by Rashtriya Janatah Dal chief Ajit Singh today blocked key roads in New Delhi staging a `Parliament gherao' protesting against the controversial and archaic Land Acquisition Act.
RLD is protesting the 1894 law "which gives state governments absolute right to evict farmers from their land".
But a Rahul Gandhi-led Congress managed to take the wind out of the opposition's sail by securing an assurance from the prime minister that an amendment to the land acquisition bill will be tabled in the next session of Parliament.
The Congress-led UPA government at the centre, which so far failed to get alliance partner Trinamool Congress to change its views on the land acquisition bill has been seeking to seize upon the unrest in UP over land acquisition to corner chief minister Mayawati.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has already forced the centre to limit its absolute right to acquire land by narrowing the definition of "public purpose" and limiting states' acquisition powers to 30 per cent of land required by private companies. Mamata, however, wants even the 30 per cent to go.
The Congress in now trying to circumvent opposition and dissenting allies in order to get the bill passed. Although with minor amendments.
CPI general secretary A B Bardhan, CPI(M) politbureau member Brinda Karat, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan, TDP's Namo Nageswar Rao and AIADMK's M Thambidurai also lent their voice to RLD's demand for fresh legislation.