DORIA (RAJASTHAN): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met with the kin of farmers, who died in police firing during protests in Mandsaur at Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border.
“I condemn this incident. I only wanted to stand with farmers and want to assure them that the Congress Party is standing with them. We demanded from the Centre to take strict action against the accused. We will raise this topic in parliament as well,” Gandhi told media after meeting with the farmers.
"Prime Minister Modi waived money for the elite but he cannot waive farmer loans,” he said.
The Congress vice-president claimed that the Uttar Pradesh Government waived off farmers loans due to his constant demand of the same and added that he will do the same in Madhya Pradesh as well.
He also assured that the Congress Party will help the kin in providing the honour of “martyr’ to the deceased as demanded by the families. “Kin of farmers’ families are demanding ‘martyr’ honour and the Congress Party will support them on this demand,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi was arrested in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
This comes after he was detained while he was on his way to Mandsaur to meet the families of the deceased farmers.
After being detained, Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi only knows to fire bullets at farmers and not to waive off their loans.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi neither waives off farmers' loans nor does he provide bonus. He only knows to fire bullets at the innocent farmers," Rahul told the media.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Rahul of indulging in 'opportunistic and cynical politics', adding the former should not do politics on unfortunate tragedy.
"Rahul is trying to create a scene and indulging in political tourism. He is trying to create a photo-op politics. The enquiry that has been ordered will bring out the real truth of the Congress party and its role in perpetrating violence in Mansaur. Rahul Gandhi should not do politics on unfortunate tragedy," BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told media.
Accusing the Congress Party of firing from the shoulders of the farmers, Rao further said that grand old party is responsible for giving a violent turn to entire Mandsaur incident.
The Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh has been facing a tense situation with farmers protesting over their demands for remunerative prices for their produce and a farm loan waiver not being met.
This unfortunately took an ugly turn on Tuesday when five farmers were killed and eight others were injured in police firing
Internet services in Mandsaur, Ratlam and Ujjain were also suspended following the farmers' protests, and a curfew was reportedly imposed.
Chief Minister Chouhan on Tuesday announced a compensation of Rs. one crore each to the victims' families while Rs. five lakh for the injured.
In a video message, Chouhan also promised a government job to each of the victims' kin.