December 4, 2021 4:55:46 am
Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Friday hit out at the government for saying it had no data on farmer deaths during their agitation, and accused it of lacking “humanity” and being “arrogant”.
The Congress leader alleged that around 700 farmers died during their protest in the past year, and that the families of at least 400 were given compensation by the Congress-led Punjab government.
Gandhi also questioned why the Centre would “lie” about the deaths when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had admitted his “mistake” on the farm laws.
“The Prime Minister himself has said that he has made a mistake. He has apologised to the nation. As a result of that mistake, 700 people have died. Now you are lying about their names. Why don’t you have the decency to give them what is their due. The government of India should pay compensation and help these families,” he said at a press conference in New Delhi.
“This is not the way the Prime Minister of India should be behaving. This is a very unpleasant, immoral and a cowardly way to behave,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi’s attack came after Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Parliament Wednesday that the government had “no record” of farmers who died during their stir against the three farm laws. Tomar’s response was a written reply to a question on whether the Centre planned to provide financial assistance to the families of the deceased farmers.
The Centre has now moved to repeal the three laws.
“We did some homework.. we have 403 (families) people who the government of Punjab has compensated Rs 5 lakh each, and has given jobs to. 152 people (families) have been given a job… It was not our responsibility. However, we (state government) have paid, we have given them support,” Gandhi said.
He added that another 100 deaths were reported from states other than Punjab, and total farmer deaths are about 700.
“But the government (Centre) insists that such a list does not exist… It is the Prime Minister’s personal mistake that caused this. So why doesn’t he not have the dignity to turn around and say, ‘Ok, 700 people have died… I will compensate them’,” Gandhi alleged.
Asked why the government wasn’t announcing any compensation, Gandhi said it was the BJP’s “arrogance”. “They think ‘we are in power, so we don’t need to listen to anyone’. There is no humanity,” he said.
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