20 held for heading towards Maya's native village

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Lucknow, Aug 6 (UNI) The political struggle at Badalpur, the native village of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, was yet to die down when police arrested about 20 people, including state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi and AICC secretary and Delhi MLA Pravesh Hashmi, while they were on their way to the village.

State Congress spokesperson Virendra Madan here today said Ms Joshi and Mr Hashmi along with 18 others people were arrested in Gautam Buddha Nagar and were taken to the police lines there.

The Congress leaders were on their way to Badalpur in the district to meet the farmers, who were agitating against the forcble acquisation of their land by the state government for constructing a picnic spot, Mr Madan said.

It will be the second time that Congress leaders had tried to go to Badalpur village.

Last week, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, Congress MP Sachin Pilot and Ms Joshi were prevented on the UP-Delhi border when they were going to Badalpur village.

The Congress leaders were supporting the agitation by the farmers of about 100 villages surrounding Badalpur for acquisation of agricutlural land for non-developmental works.

However, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has strongly objected on the action of the Congress, terming it a mere attempt for political mileage through the issue.

The BSP leaders also charged the Congress with provoking the farmers against the state government.

UNI MB JAS RL RK1905

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