Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday once again took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government over farmers’ issues as well as the disengagement plan by Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh amid a months-long border row between the two countries. Gandhi, who had on Thursday explained the ‘content’ and ‘intent’ of the three farm laws in the Lok Sabha, addressed a ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ in Rajasthan’s Pilibanga.
“I gave a speech in Parliament yesterday on the three central agricultural laws brought by PM Modi and explained the content and intend behind them. Today, I’m going to once again tell you why these laws have been introduced,” Gandhi said, addressing his audience.
Agriculture is the largest ‘business’ in India, and globally, the Congress leader said, explaining that this is because it provides food to crores of people across the world.
“Forty per cent of India’s population runs this business in the country. These include farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers, businessmen and arthiyas. Congress has always tried to ensure that the business is never controlled by just one person,” Gandhi said.
He added that the media won’t explain this to them because it belongs to ‘those very same people who want to snatch agriculture from the 40% people.’ The first law will destroy the mandis, the former Congress president explained. The second law, he said, means that any wealthy person can hoard agricultural products for an unlimited duration of time and thus control their rates. “The third law says that the farmer cannot go to court if he asks for the right price for his produce,” Gandhi said, reiterating his allegation that the aim behind these laws is to ‘transfer agriculture into the hands of these two to three wealthy businessmen.’
“This is an attack not on farmers but on 40% of India’s population. It is just that the farmer is aware and he has already realised this. He can see the future that if these laws are implemented, his land is gone,” the MP from Kerala’s Wayanad stressed.
Recalling the coronavirus pandemic, he said that when labourers begged PM Modi for a ticket to return to their homes, he refused. “The first step was demonetisation, second GST, third was Covid-19 and the fourth was these three laws. The goal is to snatch employment from 40% people,” Gandhi said, once again vowing that the Congress will make sure that the legislations are repealed.
After criticising the Prime Minister over the Ladakh disengagement plan earlier in the day, Gandhi once again accused the government of ceding Indian territory to China. “China entered India, snatched our territory and killed our soldiers. Yesterday, the defence minister said in Parliament and said that an agreement has been reached. The agreement is that Narendra Modi has handed over India’s sacred territory to China,” he said.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh had briefed Parliament about the agreement between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army that could end the months-long standoff. Singh had said that under this agreement, the Chinese PLA will retreat to its base east of Finger 8 on the north bank of Pangong Tso and the Indian Army will move back to its permanent position near Finger 3.