Sangrur (Punjab): Continuing the pressure on the NDA government over the three new agriculture-related laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the Centre’s “assault” on the farmers would lead to the ruination of the country.
He, however, warned the Centre that the agitating farmers would not be scared into submission on these “black laws”.
Rahul Gandhi was addressing a rally here on the second day of his three-day ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra‘, before he led another ‘tractor rally’ in support of the farmers protesting against these laws.
“The farmers will not be scared into submission. They will face COVID pandemic but fight for their rights on the streets of Punjab and the rest of the country,” the Congress leader warned.
Joined by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who lashed out at the Union government for what he called “destroying the time-tested farmer-arhtiya relationship” to hand over the agriculture sector to big corporates like Adanis, Rahul made it clear that the Congress would not stop fighting for the cause of farmers.
He said once these industrialists take control of food, every household would have to pay three-fold prices for the produce, leading to devastation and suffering for the entire nation.
Not only would the farmers lose their land and livelihood, others associated with the mandis and the food procurement chain would also be rendered jobless, the Congress leader claimed.
The Congress MP said that the need of the hour was to strengthen the existing system and to correct its flaws, rather than to destroy it, “which Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed bent on doing”.
“Modi is only clearing the ground for his industrialist friends to take over,” he charged.
Rahul lashed out at the BJP-led NDA government for what he called trying to finish agriculture sector after failing to generate the promised employment.
“It is not Adani who creates jobs but small businesses and MSMEs, which Modi has been ruining with his ill-conceived moves like demonetisation and GST etc,” he added.
Alleging out that for the past six years Modi had been attacking the poor with his policies, Rahul said that demonetisation diverted the common people’s hard-earned money through banks to big industrialists, and he ruined the SMEs and small traders with the Goods and Services Tax regime.
“Even the Covid crisis has been used by the Prime Minister to help out his capitalist friends, whose loans and taxes he has waived and reduced,” he added.
The Chief Minister told the people in the heartland of the Malwa region, which records the highest yield in wheat and paddy, that the Modi government had backtracked on every single promise, be it the constitutional promise of GST or employment or doubling of farmers’ income.
Farmers would allegedly be left by these new laws at the mercy of big industrialists, whom they would never be able to fight or go to for help.
“Will you go to the Adanis when in need, as you do with arhtiyas at present?” the Chief Minister asked.
“For seven months, Punjab had not got its share of GST money, leaving the state struggling to manage amid Covid pandemic,” Amarinder Singh said.
Asserting that the Congress, under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, would fight for the farmers till the ned, the Chief Minister appealed to him to ensure repeal of the ‘black’ laws once the party returned to power at the Centre.
Rahul has come to hold the hand of the farmers, he said, terming the new farm L laws an act of total injustice with the farming community.
The Modi government did not know how agriculture sector works in Punjab and the country, he said, adding that these legislations would pave the way for scrapping MSP and winding up of the Food Corpooration of India, as per the Shanta Kumar committee recommendations.
Amarinder Singh asserted that his government would not let the Centre do this and would take all required steps, including calling a Vidhan Sabha session to makes state laws to neutralise the new central legislations and even move the Supreme Court.