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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Rahul Gandhi in Punjab: Farm laws will be consigned to wastepaper basket the day Cong forms govt

Addressing a public meeting in Badhni Kalan in Punjab's Moga district, Gandhi asserted that the contentious Acts would be revoked if the Congress was voted to power.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 4, 2020 8:00:45 pm
farmer protest, rahul gandhi, rahul gandhi farmers protest, farmer rally, farmer rally today, punjab farmer protest, punjab farmer protest live news, rahul gandhi farmers rally, farmers protest in punjab, farm bill 2020, farm bill news, farmer protest in haryana, farmer protest today, farmer protest latest news, farmer protest today news, farmers protest, farmers protest today, farm bill, farm bill news, farm bill latest news, farmers protest in haryanaRahul 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)

From the heart of the protests against the three contentious farm laws in Punjab’s Moga, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack against the Narendra Modi government and asserted that the legislations would be revoked if Congress was voted to power.

Addressing a public meeting in Badhni Kalan in Punjab’s Moga district before leading a tractor rally, which has been named ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’, Gandhi wondered what was the “hurry” and need to implement these laws amid Covid-19 pandemic.

“I guarantee the day Congress government is formed (at the Centre), these three black laws would be scrapped and consigned to wastepaper basket. The prime minister says the laws are being framed for farmers. If the laws are being made for farmers, then why didn’t you debate in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha?” Gandhi asked.

“And if farmers are happy with these laws, then why are they agitating across the country? Why is every farmer of Punjab agitating,” he said at the rally, which was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Congress state chief Sunil Jakhar and MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Rahul Gandhi further claimed that PM Modi had been lying to the people for the last six years. “This is a kathputli government whose strings are in the hands of the Adanis and Ambanis. These are the three black laws that have been passed. The Modi government wants to destroy the three pillars of Indian agriculture – MSP, food grain procurement and Mandis,” he said.

Addressing another rally in Ludhiana, Gandhi said, “People of Punjab provide food to the country, you are the backbone of our country. Why is Modi ji breaking this backbone to benefit few people? Congress will never let this happen.”

President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which were passed by the Parliament last month. Out of the three laws, farmers and farm leaders have expressed grave concerns over the first one that they claim was a roundabout way to eliminate procurement of wheat and paddy under minimum support price (MSP) programme.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with Punjab CM Amarinder Singh while PPCC president Sunil Jakhar drives the tractor during the ‘Kheti Bachao Rally” in Moga on Sunday. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said PM Modi’s promises were of no use as long as the laws passed in the Parliament were not amended to make the MSP compulsory.

Sidhu, who had stayed away from all Congress activities ever since he resigned as cabinet minister last year, dubbed the farm laws an “attack on federal structure” and alleged the central government was being run by “capitalists”.

“They are trying to impose America’s failed system on us. Capitalists are running this country. Benefits to farmers are labelled as ‘subsidies’ whereas relaxations worth lakhs of rupees given to the rich are called ‘incentives’,” he said.

The tractor rallies, which have been named as ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’, will cover more than 50 km over three days in various districts and constituencies. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Gandhi will hold massive public meetings and tractor rallies across Punjab and Haryana for three days. After finishing his tractor rallies in Punjab’s Patiala, Gandhi will attempt to enter Haryana through Pehowa on October 6. From Pehowa, he will reach Pipli in Kurukshetra, address a rally of farmers, shopkeepers and arhtiyas and then take the national highway to Delhi.

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, who has so far maintained that Rahul Gandhi would not be allowed enter state, softened his stance on Sunday. “We are a democratic state,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh greets the villagers during the ‘Kheti Bachao Rally” on Sunday. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Taking a dig at Gandhi, Haryana deputy CM Dushyant Chautala said, “Rahul does not have complete knowledge on the three farm legislations. Rahul Gandhi ko Krishi ke “k”shabd ka bhi gyan nahi hai”. Dushyant termed ongoing protests in Punjab and Haryana as “Congress’ conspiracy”.

“Congress is misleading innocent farmers. Haryana’s farmers are well aware about his interests and will not allow Congress to mislead. Both centre and state governments have taken numerous decisions in farmers’ interest and several steps are being taken to double farmers’ income. Congress, till date, has not taken any measures to ensure farmers’ welfare. However, prime minister Narendra Modi not only took revolutionary decisions in farmers’ interest but had also disbursed record compensation to farmers,” Dushyant said.

From Pehowa, Rahul will reach Pipli in Kurukshetra, address a rally of farmers, shopkeepers and arhtiyas and then take the national highway to Delhi. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

“I am also a farmer and my doors are always open for farmers. I am ready to reply each and every question raised by farmers,” Dushyant added.

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