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Saturday, October 31, 2020

At Congress Punjab tractor rally, Rahul Gandhi vows to rip farm laws

Rahul kick-started the ruling Congress’s three-day Kisan Bachao rally from Badhani Kalani in Moga on Sunday.

Written by Divya Goyal | Badni Kalan (moga) | Updated: October 5, 2020 2:15:44 am
Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar (driving the tractor) during a rally against the farm laws, at Badhni Kalan in Moga Sunday. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

The NDA government is a puppet in the hands of some corporates, Rahul Gandhi said on Sunday, and promised to repeal the three “black” farm laws when the Congress returns to power at the Centre.

Gandhi, who kick-started the ruling Congress’s three-day Kisan Bachao Yatra from Badhni Kalan in Moga with a tractor rally, said with the new farm laws, the Modi government was trying to destroy the three pillars of agriculture – minimum support price (MSP), assured foodgrain procurement and mandis.

“It is the farmers of Punjab and Haryana who give food security to our country. MSP, foodgrain procurement and mandis- are the three pillars of our system. Modi government is hellbent on destroying and finishing this system because till this system is alive, Modi’s friends won’t be able to take away land and money of “But the Congress will not allow this to happen, we stand firmly behind you. We will not back down an inch,” Gandhi said.

Asking farmers to ‘understand the lakshya (motive)’ of Centre, Rahul said, “Aapke paise aur zameen ka maamla hai (it is all about your money and land). Some 2-3 billionaires are eyeing your land and money”.

Claiming that that the Modi government was acting like “a puppet” in the hands of corporates, he said,

Kathputli ka show hota tha, kathputli chalti thi aur peeche se koi chalaata tha, dhaagey bandhe hote they, ye modi sarkaar nahi hai, ye Adani aur Ambani ki sarkaar hai, wo iss sarkaar ko chalate hain, jeevan dete hain Modi ko media mein 24 ghante Modi ka chehra dikhake.. (There used to be puppet shows where someone used to pull strings of the puppets. This is not the Modi government, this is the government of Adani and Ambani. They (corporates) breathe life into Modi by showing his face in media 24×7),” said Rahul.

Continuing to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he questioned the need for bringing in the new laws at the time of the coronavirus pandemic and clearing them in such a hurry. He said that if according to Modi, farmers are happy with these laws, then why are they protesting?

“Yes, there are flaws in the current system but the solution is not to end it. If current system ends, nothing will be left for farmers and they will be on roads. Main aapko guarantee de raha hu jis din Congress party ki sarkaar aayegi, uss din hum inn teen kaaley kanuno ko radd karke, khatam kar denge (I promise that the day Congress forms the government, we will scrap these three black laws).”

The Centre has accused the Congress and other opposition parties of misleading farmers with PM Modi alleging that those opposing the laws only want the “middlemen” to thrive, while his government is concerned about the interests of farmers who will now be able to get a better price for their produce. It was merely “opposition for the sake of opposition”, he had said on the protests against the new laws.

Addressing the public meeting, Gandhi accused PM of lying to the people and misleading the nation for the past six years.

“Demonetisation and claims of ending black money, GST, Covid… 6 saal se PM Modi sirf jhooth bol rahe hain…For six years, Narendra Modi has been speaking lies,” he said adding that Modi’s government “has only written off debts and taxes of crorepatis in the country and not a single penny of that of the poor farmers has been waived off”.

“Thousands of people died due to Covid, they are still dying. PM said that this war will be won in 21 days… we are still fighting. Then, a daughter of India has been murdered in Hathras, those who killed are roaming free and the family whose daughter was killed were locked inside their own home. Uttar Pradesh CM threatened that poor family. This is the condition of our India today,” said Gandhi.

The Congress leader later led the party’s tractor rally from Moga to Ludhiana.

As the cavalcade of thousands of tractors along with convoy of security vehicles, with the slogan ‘Kisan Bachao, Punjab Bachao’ started from Badni Kalan, Gandhi along with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh were seated at the leading tractor which was being driven by PCC chief SunilJakhar. Special seats were installed on the tractor for Gandhi and CM. On a second tractor that followed them and was being driven by Haryana MP Deepender Singh Hooda, those seated were former Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, party incharge Harish Rawat and Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Randhawa.

Earlier, while addressing the public meeting of farmers at Badni Kalan, Rahul targeted Modi government over Covid management and Hathras girl’s murder case before asserting that the motive behind three new Farm Laws was to ‘grab money and land of the farmers and hand them over the corporates who are keeping an eye on them. ‘

Earlier, Amarinder during his address at Badni Kalan, said that Modi government was following ‘Kisan Maroo, Punjab Maroo’ policy and the Punjab government has already declared a ‘war’ against the three farm laws. “Till these laws aren’t changed or rolled back, the war won’t end. Rice, wheat… it is the farmers of Punjab which fed this country for years and now our farmers are being treated this way. I appeal to Rahul Gandhi to unite farmers of this entire country against these black laws and we are going to take this fight to a logical end.. Till the Dilli Huqumat doesn’t listen to our farmers, this fight won’t end,” said Amarinder.

Taking on the Akalis over their “treachery” with Punjab, Amarinder said the people of the state would take care of these “traitors”, but the real fight was with the BJP-led central government that out to “destroy” the farmers with their “draconian” farm laws. “We will handle the Akalis here,” he said. Taking a dig at SAD president Sukhbir Badal’s claim of “sacrificing” for the farmers by quitting the National Democratic Alliance, Amarinder said the Akalis “don’t know what sacrifice is. They (SAD) did what they did only for political survival when faced with the farmers’ angst and resentment,” he said.

Earlier, Gandhi too had attacked the Akalis. “Congress government protected land of farmers by amending Land Acquisition Bill but Modi government scrapped it with help of Akalis,” he said.

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