CHANDIGARH: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on the second day of the three-day Kheti Bachao Yatra against three farm laws, compared NDA Government with the British East India company.
If the BJP-led government succeeds in breaking the backbone of the farmers the way the British firm did, then the entire nation would be enslaved to industrialists like Ambani and Adani, he said. "The Modi Government is doing to India what the East India Company of the British did. What people buy now for Rs 10 will cost them Rs 50 under the corporate regime, and the money will go not to the farmers or labourers but into the pockets of the corporate houses."
The Congress leader was addressing a rally at Bhawanigarh in Sangrur on the second day of the tractor rally.
He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to destroy the Mandi and MSP system, which was the wall of India’s agriculture sector. The Ambanis and Adanis will not use labour but would deploy machines to undertake the farm sector operations, rendering lakhs of people jobless. The farmers will be forced to deal with these industrialists under the new system, and even the administration and police of the state will not be able to help them.
Gandhi further said Congress will not back off from protesting against these bills. "Every farmer will come out to streets against these bills and against your party. Congress stands with all the farmers and will always support them. What was the need to bring these bills at the time of coronavirus pandemic? Because Narendra Modi thinks that if such bills are introduced at the time of coronavirus, the farmers won't come out to protest against them."
"The central government’s assault on farmers would lead to the ruination of the entire nation. The farmers, however, will not be scared into submission. Once these industrialists take control of food, every household will have to pay three-fold for the produce, leading to devastation and suffering for the entire nation. Not only will the farmers lose their land and livelihood, but others associated with the Mandis and the food procurement chain will also be rendered jobless," said Rahul.
He said that the farmers will brave Covid to fight for their rights out on the streets of Punjab and the rest of the country. Congress would not stop fighting for the farmers. Farmers will be left by these new laws at the mercy of these big industrialists, whom they will never be able to fight or go to for
help, he said, adding that the farm laws will spell doom for the farming community.
Rahul said the need of the hour was to strengthen the existing system and to correct the flaws in it, rather than to destroy it, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to be bent on doing. Modi is only clearing the ground for his industrialist friends to take over, he added.
He lashed out at the BJP-led NDA Government for trying to finish agriculture after failing to generate the promised employment. It is not Ambani and Adani who create jobs but small businesses and MSMEs, which Modi has been ruining with his ill-conceived moves like demonetisation, GST, he added. Pointing out that for six years Modi had been attacking the poor with his policies, Rahul said with demonetisation the common people’s hard-earned money was diverted through the banks to big industrialists, and with GST he has ruined the SMEs and small traders.
Even the Covid crisis has been used by the Prime Minister to help out his capitalist friends, whose loans and taxes he has waived off, said Rahul.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said, "Will you go to Adanis and Ambanis when in need, as you do with to the Arhtiyas at present? The Modi government had backtracked on every single promise, be it the constitutional promise of GST or employment or doubling of farmers’ income. For seven months, Punjab had not got its share of GST, leaving the state struggling to manage amid Covid."
Asserting that the Congress, with Rahul leading the way, will fight for the farmers till their last breath, Amarinder appealed to the MP to repeal the black laws once he becomes the Prime Minister. Rahul has come to hold the hand of the farmers, he said, terming the new farm laws an act of total injustice with the farming community. The Modi government does not know how agriculture works in Punjab and the country, he said, adding that these legislations would pave the way for scrapping MSP and winding up FCI, as per the Shanta Kumar committee recommendations.
He said his government could not let the Union Government do that and will take all steps, including a Vidhan Sabha session to counter the new legislations, and challenging the Centre’s laws in Supreme Court.
The tractor rally travelled through Bhawanigarh, Fatehgarh Chhana, Bahmna and culminated with another rally at the Grain Market at Samana in Patiala.