Updated: February 11, 2021 11:12:16 pm
Hitting out at the central government in the Lok Sabha over the contentious farm laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Thursday alleged the laws are intended to “finish the farmers, small, medium businessmen and the mandis”, and that the country is now being run by four people with a motto of ‘Hum do, hamare do’.
Gandhi’s speech — on the farm laws during the budget discussion — infuriated treasury benches, who created an uproar, asking the Speaker to stop him. However, Gandhi insisted he would talk only on the farmers’ issue, in protest against the government’s reluctance to have a separate debate on the subject.
Amid disruptions, Gandhi said the three laws against which farmers have been protesting at different borders of Delhi intend to finish mandis, Essential Commodities Act, and to hand over the entire food grains in the country to corporates.
“Prime Minister yesterday said the opposition did not talk about content and intent of the bills. Let me please him today… let me talk about the intent of the bills. Four people will run this country. Everybody knows who they are,” he said, invoking the family planning slogan of ‘Hum do, hamare do’.
Gandhi alleged that while the first law is to ensure that the farmers hand over their entire foodgrains to one corporate, the second one will see to it that the foodgrains are stored in the silos of the second corporate friend. The third law, he said, is to stop the farmers from going to court if he has any disputes with the corporates on the selling of his produces.
“The PM said it’s an option for farmers. But what’s the option for farmers now – hunger, unemployment, and suicide,” he said.
The treasury benches cited parliamentary rules to stop Gandhi, but the Congress, TMC, and DMK members countered it, by citing rules that the member is free to speak on any issue.
“Farmers issue is part of the budget,” Gandhi said.
The House witnessed heated exchanges between the ruling party members, including ministers and the Opposition. “By imposing demonetisation and GST, i.e Gabbar Singh Tax, the government has finished small businessmen, now by introducing farm laws they want to finish the farmers. The country is being run by four people –– ‘hum do, humare do’, excluding small businessmen, farmers,” Gandhi said.
However, Gandhi’s move to make the Opposition members stand up to pay tribute to the farmers who died during the agitation did not go down well with the Speaker.
Speaker Om Birla pointed out that running the House is his responsibility. “You have elected me to run this House and that’s my responsibility, you cannot run the House. It was not correct. You could have given that in writing and I would have discussed with others,” the speaker said.
After Gandhi left the House, Union minister Anurag Singh Thakur slammed him for not sticking to the rules. He alleged that the previous Congress governments had just made promises on eradicating poverty, but the work has begun only after Narendra Modi took over.
Thakur also attacked the Gandhis, alleging the family had snatched land from farmers in different states.
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