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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Malls, flats will come up on your farmland in few years: Rahul Gandhi tells farmers in Patiala

Making the farmers aware of the outcome of the farm laws, he added, “With the money that you pay as mandi tax, roads are laid. Then the PM says the farmers can go to sell their produce in private mandis. But how will you go to the mandis if there are no roads?”

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | October 7, 2020 10:12:39 am
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on their way towards Haryana border. (Express Photo by Harmeet Sodhi)

As the ruling Congress in Punjab projected former AICC president Rahul Gandhi as the “saviour of farmers” by putting up bill boards with a slogan — Rahul Laao. Kisan Bachao — across Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s home district Patiala, the Congress leader tried to strike a chord with farmers by saying that malls and flats will come up on their agriculture land, and these would not be for them.

“There will be malls and flats on your land in a few years. But you will neither be able to go to the malls nor own the flats,” said Rahul, during his address at Francewala village near Sanaur during the last leg of his ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’ in Punjab.

Making the farmers aware of the outcome of the farm laws, he added, “With the money that you pay as mandi tax, roads are laid. Then the PM says the farmers can go to sell their produce in private mandis. But how will you go to the mandis if there are no roads?”

On the last day of the three-day tractor march, both Rahul and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh vowed that they will not budge even in inch before getting justice for the farmers.

“The laws threaten the very food security of the nation. If the food security is forgone, the country could be enslaved again,” Rahul declared from the dais, before taking the last tractor rally to neighbouring Haryana.

“You will lose your land in two years, if you do not get the price for your produce. Amabanis and Adani will take your land. They will make construct malls and flats on this land. But you will not be able to go to the malls or own the flats,” he said.

Cautioning the farmers, he added: “In one or two years your land will not be yours. That will be theirs. If you don’t want to believe me, then don’t. But remember it then that Captain Amarinder Singh had come and Rahul had come. People think nothing will happen to them. They think if the farmer is finished then nothing will happen. If farmer is finished then the food security is finished and the entire country will be enslaved. This is not the fight of Punjab alone but the entire country.”

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “He purchased two aircraft worth Rs 8,000 crore few days ago. He purchased those for himself. He knows he can fly anywhere. But this is your fight. In last six years, they have not done anything for the poor,” he said amid slogans “Desh da bhavikh bachao, Rahul lao.”

“One day Modi ji said he wants to finish Rs 500 notes. Did you see Ambani or Adani queuing up in front of the banks? Who were seen outside the banks? Farmers, labourers, mothers, sisters and daughters. He took money out of your pocket. Did you have black money? Why were Adani and Ambani not seen outside banks? And after taking money out of your pockets, the government waived off the debt of billionaires. He gave 3.5 lakh crore as loan waiver. We kept saying waive off farmers debt. But nothing was done. Farmers can die. Nobody cares. Then they brought GST. Shopkeepers, small businessman all were finished. Modi ji is clearing a way for Ambani and Adani.for the select billionaires. “

Questioning the timing of Bills in Parliament, Rahul said, “Amid Covid, every household is affected as every house had people falling ill. But Modi ji brought these three Bills. They know the farmers will not be able to do anything amid Covid. But he does not know that farmers will not take this lying down. Why did he not allow debate on the Bills? Procurement and mandis are a part of a well oiled system. I know there are flaws but Modi is finishing the entire system. He says mandis are not requited. If you see entire country lakhs of people work there. If mandis are shut, where will these people go. Ambani Adani will mechanise everything. Where will these people go?”

Again reiterating that Congress will not budge an inch while fighting for this cause, he added: “After these laws, there would be no small farmer or businessman. Only Ambani and Adani will be at the helm of affairs. They will be in the aircrafts and will not be available for you. Lakhs of people across the country are dependent on mandis. Where will they go? We do not want this kind of country. We will not budge an inch. The day our government will come we will tear off these bills.”

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, in his address, said that the regions of Dakala and Sanaur have always stood by his family and the Congress, and the people of these areas were now standing rock solid behind the party on the issue of the “black farm laws”. Attacking the BJP government at the Centre, he said farmers all over the country have risen up against the Modi regime. “These oppressors will be decimated in the next elections,” he said. Prominent among others who were present on the occasion were AICC general secretary and incharge Punjab Affairs Harish Rawat, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, Cabinet minister Brahm Mohindra and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria. MPs Manish Tiwari, Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Partap Bajwa were also present.

The three-day Punjab ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’ of Rahul Gandhi culminated in the state on Tuesday at the border along Haryana.

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