Farmers protest mars Sonia rally; Cong workers hurl chairs

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (UNI) In what could be seen as a major embarrassment to the Sheila Dikshit Government's efforts to present regularisation of unauthorised colonies as its major achievement, a rally for handover of provisional regularisation certificates by Congress president Sonia Gandhi was marred by protests by a group of farmers demanding increased compensation for their land.

Just as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi began her speech after handing over provisional certificates to representatives of 11 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, farmers from a village on the outskirts of Delhi began shouting slogans against the Sheila Dikshit Government.

Just as Ms Gandhi began talking about the achievements of the UPA Government towards improving the conditions of farmers, some farmers from the Kanjhawala village in Delhi started shouting slogans like ''Congress Party Hai Hai'' and ''Sheila Dikshit Hai Hai''.

The sloganeering by the farmers was immediately followed by shouts of ''Congress party zindabad'' and ''Sonia Gandhi Zindabad by the Congress workers.

Amid all this din, Ms Gandhi continued with her speech which was, however, drowned in all the noise.

The rally, held at Chhattrasal Stadium in North Delhi, was held to distribute provisional regularisation certificates to the representatives of 1305 unauthorised colonies.

In the din, the Congress workers were seen hurling chairs, slippers and even bamboo sticks on the protesting farmers.

The chaos and melee caused by the sloganeering led to an abrupt end of the rally immediately after Ms Gandhi's speech.

The main protestors were from Kanjawala village, who had been lathicharged last month while agitating before the Delhi Assembly for increased compensation for their land.

UNI AR AKJ BST1902

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