Palwal, Haryana: A number of noted civil rights activists today came together on one platform to rally support against changes in the land acquisition law. Anti-corruption crusader and Gandhian activist Anna Hazare flagged off a march of 5000 farmers, landless labourers and tribals to Delhi from Palwal in Haryana.
Aruna Roy, who has been instrumental in the enactment of the RTI Act, told those gathered that, “We may all come from different organisations and work on different areas but have come together to fight for rights.”
Also present was Medha Patkar, leader of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. “The Modi government is out to remove several aspects of the law. We dare the Modi government to do this. We will take this campaign to every village and district,” she said.
Activists say that they expect the crowd of supporters to keep growing as they march towards Delhi. The plan is to arrive in Delhi on February 23, the day Parliament re-convenes for the Budget Session.
In a sign of growing thaw between Anna Hazare and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Mr Hazare today admitted that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had contacted him and pledged support for the movement against the land acquisition law. “They spoke to me a couple of times on the phone and I have welcomed their support,” he said.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and his mentor Anna Hazare had campaigned together in 2011 for the Jan Lok Pal Bill, but had parted ways a year later following Kejriwal’s foray into politics. They could now end up coming together on Monday against the land acquisition law.
“We have the same ideology and so there is no difference in our stand on these issues,” said AAP leader and spokesperson Ashutosh.