CHANDIGARH: Kick-starting a three-day 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' against the contentious farm laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that the day his party comes back to power at the Centre, these 'black laws' will be scrapped.
Addressing a rally at Badni Kalan before taking off on a tractor rally through districts Moga and Ludhiana, he described the BJP government as a 'kathputli' (puppet) government, whose strings were in the hands of the Adanis and the Ambanis.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was lying to the people and misleading the nation for the past six years to serve the interests of two to three large corporate houses of his billionaire friends.
"What was the need to implement these laws amid COVID-19? What was the haste? If you had to implement you should've discussed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Prime Minister says laws are being framed for farmers. If it's the case, why didn't you discuss openly in the house," he said.
President Ram Nath Kovind had given assent to the three contentious bills -- 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.
Gandhi said he is standing with the farmers in this fight for their survival and livelihood, which the Modi government was trying to destroy with these draconian laws.
"Together we will change these laws,” said Gandhi.
The new laws, said Gandhi, were aimed at eventually dismantling the MSP and FCI procurement system, and would break the backbone of the farmers, just as the British had done to seize control of India. “The Congress will stand with the farmers in their fight and will not move back an inch,” he vowed.
Pointing out that the farmers of Punjab and Haryana had given the nation its food security with the tried and tested system that stands on three pillars -- MSP, Food Procurement and Mandis, Gandhil said while the system needed reforms and change there was no way the Congress would allow it to be destroyed.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs, Harish Rawat, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal were also in attendance at the venue.
Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the Union Government's approach to agriculture would kill farmers and Punjab. " India used to borrow from across the world to feed its people till the time Punjabi farmers took the charge of feeding them. Attempts were being made to stifle the collective voice of the farmers, who had come together in this fight to protect their livelihood and future. The battle against the farm laws was being fought across the country and the Congress was with the farmers every step
of the way," he said.
Gandhi along with Amarinder sat on a tractor which was driven by Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar while Navjot Singh Sidhu and other leaders sat on another.