NEW DELHI: Hitting out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over the land acquisition policy, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said lakhs of acres of land were acquired during UPA regime without four-time compensation or any social impact study.
Naidu also said Congress vice president's certificate is not required for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity as "it is increasing by day".
"When you are in the power, you acquired lakhs of acres of land from farmers, without consent or four time compensation and social impact study," Naidu said at the sidelines of a function here.
"Congress vice-president is saying he will not allow an inch of land of farmers to be acquired. I want to know what is the scale of your inch? You have already acquired lakhs of acres. We have given example of Haryana, Andhra. Now you are saying you will not allow land to be acquired," he said.
Describing the land acquisition issue as classic case of devil quoting the scriptures (sau chuhe kha ke billi haj ko chali), Naidu asked the Congress to stop misleading people.
"Now the government brings a land law and you are misleading people. That is why I want to show them their real image to the people. We have given the example of how much land was acquired in Haryana. Now we will tell how much was acquired in Andhra Pradesh then also in Rajsthan how they have acquired lakhs of acres of land without social impact study. Without giving employment, they have acquired lakhs of acres of land," he said.
Naidu asked the Congress to stop shedding "crocodile tears" for the sake of farmers as the party has no moral right to critiscise PM on farm policy.
Claiming the Modi government was a "pro-farmer government", he said, "Interest of farmers is uppermost in the government's mind. PM has enhanced the compensation. Our record on the farm front compared with anybody is far ahead and the Congress which has robbed farmers of their livelihood has no moral right to criticise the PM."
On Rahul's comment yesterday that PM's popularity is going down, Naidu said, "He is worried about PM's popularity. Certificate is not required from Congress vice president or its leaders on PM's popularity."
"PM's popularity is increasing day by day. International rating agency has given him 87 per cent. Even Congressmen are also giving him higher rating than their own leaders. That speaks of the reality."
He further suggested that Congress understand the reality of the situation and then introspect as to why they have come down from 400 to 44, stressing that it is in their interest and interest of the country.