CONGRESS PRESIDENT Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that he was happy that the Chhattisgarh government had taken the historic step of returning land to farmers which had been acquired for a Tata plant. He said that if the Congress came to power in 2019, it would remove the BJP’s version of “Gabbar Singh Tax”, and implement “true GST”. Speaking at a rally in Dhuragaon, Lohandiguda, Gandhi gave symbolic land deed certificates to farmers whose land was acquired for a Tata Steel plant.
Gandhi began his speech in Bastar with a tribute to the CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama and said, “In Jammu and Kashmir, the CRPF jawans that were martyred, we remember them, and send all our love to their families.”
Gandhi said that when he was in Bastar for his pre-assembly election campaign, he had been visited by delegations that demanded a return of the land. “You said that the Tata Plant land was yours. It was taken from you, and for ten years no work had been done. I had told the delegation that according to the Land Acquisition Act, adivasis, farmers will get four times the market rate for the land. The law clearly states that if after five years nothing happens on that land, it will be given back. I am happy that in Bastar, this historic work has been done. And Baghel ji has said that this is the first state where land has been returned to adivasis,” he said.
Underlining that the Congress government since coming to power, had increased the price for paddy to Rs 2,500 per quintal, and had waived loans worth ten thousand crore, Gandhi said, “When the BJP government was in power, we raised the issue of fair price to farmers, they said there is no money. If there was no money then, how come there is now? When the Congress came, Rs 2500 for paddy came, Rs 4,000 for tendupatta came. The BJP, RSS and Raman Singh stole your money and put it in their pockets”.