NEW DELHI: Lashing out at the government for stopping the farmers' rally from entering the national capital, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre of being anti-farmers.
Speaking to ANI, Yechury said, "It reconfirms the fact that Modi government is anti-farmers. Instead of providing relief to the farmers, they are exasperating the crisis, further forcing farmers to be under debt burden and distress suicides. We have not seen such an agrarian distress in India since Independence."
Reiterating Yechury's sentiments, Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala likened Prime Minister Modi-led government with the pre-independence British government in India.
"On the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Modi government has shown that they are no different from the pre-independence British government in India. The British government then used to exploit the farmers and today, Modi government is firing tear gas shells at farmers," Surjewala said.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also backed the farmers and launched an attack on the Centre, saying, "This government has not fulfilled the promises it made to the farmers, so it is all but natural that farmers would protest. It is unfortunate and we fully support the farmers."
The police at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad used water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse the agitating farmers who were marching towards the national capital.
The farmers, thousands in number, began their agitation on September 23 at Haridwar in Uttarakhand and were moving towards New Delhi, many of them on foot and scores sitting atop tractors, buses and raising slogans.
Their demands include complete loan waiver, reduction in electricity tariff and pension to every farmer aged above 60. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), the body which organised the mega-march, expressed angst over police's use of force on the agitators.