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  1. Sonia Gandhi writes letter to Anna Hazare, says Congress will join his fight against land bill

Sonia Gandhi writes letter to Anna Hazare, says Congress will join his fight against land bill

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has expressed her agreement with the concerns of Gandhian Anna Hazare on the NDA government's land acquisition bill and vowed to oppose it at all fora.

By: | New Delhi | Published: March 18, 2015 10:01 PM
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Chief of India’s Congress party Sonia Gandhi (C) marches along with the members of other opposition parties, to India’s Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace, in New Delhi March 17, 2015. India’s usually fractious opposition parties joined forces on Tuesday for a march against a bill to ease land acquisition rules, a rare show of unity that bodes badly for a key part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic overhaul plans. Opposition parties from across the political spectrum, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, walked from parliament to the president’s home demanding the government drop its plans. REUTERS

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has expressed her agreement with the concerns of Gandhian Anna Hazare on the NDA government’s land acquisition bill and vowed to oppose it at all fora.

Sonia Gandhi yesterday wrote a letter to the social activist in reply to his earlier missive and referred to the protest march to President House by the representatives of 14 parties on the issue.

Leaders of 14 political parties led by Sonia Gandhi yesterday marched from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan against amendments to the land acquisition act.

“I have got your letter dated March 14 in which you have talked about your doubts about the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

“I am in agreement with your views that the Ordinance of the NDA government and the amendment bill, which is now before Parliament, is not in the interest of farmers,” Gandhi wrote.

Asserting that Congress will oppose this bill on all fora, Gandhi cited the protest march by parties and President’s intervention into the matter as an example of their opposition to the bill.

“I want to assure you that our fight on this issue will continue,” Gandhi said.

The exchange of letters between Congress President and Hazare have come amid signs of some bonhomie between the party and the Gandhian, with Hazare sometime praising Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his role in getting the Lokpal bill passed by Parliament.

Many in the party believe that it was the anti-corruption campaign led by Hazare in 2011 that had laid to the built up on an anti-Congress sentiment across the country after which it suffered its worst-ever poll debacle in 2014 Lok Sabha polls in which it was reduced to only 44 seats from 206 that it had won in 2009 general elections.

In April 2011, Hazare sat on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar which later on led to a massive movement against corruption during which the UPA was at the receiving end.

NDA’s new land law seems to have brought them together.

Last month, Hazare held a protest at Jantar Mantar against the land bill in the first major public agitation against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) government. Congress held a protest at the venue after that in which it had invited Hazare as well. While they did not attend each other’s protest, the bonhomie is visible.

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