Rahul winds up UP padayatra, returns to Delhi

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Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday wound up his four-day foot march through the dusty heartlands of rural Uttar Pradesh here and returned to Delhi.

Describing the padayatra as an unforgettable experience that has enlightened him of the farmers’ problems, the Gandhi scion told farmers of the BSP-ruled state, "I have learnt a lot after talking to you. I am young and from you I have gained a world of knowledge on land acquisition issues...I can never forget all this all my lifetime and the fact that I am taking back so much from you."

"You have the same knowledge as those sitting in the Planning Commission and those making the laws...What I have acquired from you here, I could never have acquired sitting in Delhi," he said.

The foot march, flagged off from Bhatta on Tuesday, saw the Congress leader spanning over 70 km in hot and sultry weather conditions.

"The yatra was a mass awakening call for the farmers...I have already achieved what I set out to achieve. I am more than pleased. I wanted to bring this matter on the national radar and help farmers voice their concerns. I have done that," Gandhi said.

While interacting with Gandhi during the foot march, the farmers demanded adequate compensation for their land, jobs in lieu of acquired lands, enhanced compensation for fertile land and compensation in lieu of tube wells that get acquired along with swathes of land.

The AICC general secretary will visit Aligarh on Saturday to address a farmer mahapanchayat.

Gandhi said the UP government should enact a land acquisition law on the lines of Haryana.

"UP government should enact land acquisition law on the lines of Haryana land acquisition law which is more farmer-friendly," he addressed a gathering of villagers at Bajna Inter college ground.

"The UPA will soon modify the existing land acquisition law and make it more farmer-oriented," Gandhi said.

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