Free Press Journal

In Telangana, Rahul Gandhi attacks PM, ‘Mini-Modi’ on farmers’ issue


Rahul Gandhi

Adilabad (Telangana): Rahul Gandhi today targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, whom he dubbed as “Mini-Modi”, accusing them of going back on their poll promises to farmers,as he held a padyatra here to reach out to agrarian community.

“When the unseasonal rains came and when there was hailstorm, Modi did nothing. The Mini-Modi in Telangana also did nothing,” the Congress Vice President said, without directly naming Rao, while addressing farmers in the region which has witnessed a spate of suicides due to agrarian distress. Before coming to power, Modi as also leaders in Telangana had promised a lot of things to farmers like remunerative price to the farm produce and a loan waiver, he said, “but neither the Centre did it, nor the state government.” Rahul also again attacked the controversial land acquisition bill brought by the Modi dispensation alleging that it will spell doom for farmers as the government has taken out key provisions like social audit.

He kicked off his 15-km padyatra from Koratikal village in this district to highlight the problems faced by farmers in drought-stricken villages. Rahul met the family members of Velma Rajeshwar, who allegedly committed suicide due to debt burden of nearly Rs 12 lakh, and consoled them. He handed over a Rs two lakh cheque to Rajeshwar’s widow Gangavva. The main Opposition Congress, TDP and BJP allege that hundreds of farmers have committed suicide due to the agrarian distress in Telangana since the TRS Government assumed office in June last, a charge denied by the state administration.

The Congress Vice-President had earlier visited Punjab and Maharashtra, where he interacted with farmers and undertook padyatras. He has aggressively taken on the Modi Government inside and outside Parliament on the land bill issue and the demand for relief to farmers. Meanwhile, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the BJP hit out at Rahul, slamming attempts to politicise the farmers’ issue and turn his visit into a “grand celebration”. Secretary General of TRS, K Keshava Rao, flayed the way streets were flooded with posters and hoardings welcoming Rahul, saying Congress was making his visit over the tragic issue of farmer suicides into a kind of “grand celebration.”

“Let’s not politicise the human issues. He has come for a tragic incident (farmers’ suicides). Let’s not pay insult to the people who are in difficulty,” the Rajya Sabha member told PTI here. Telangana BJP President G Kishan Reddy said Rahul should first talk about farmers’ suicides from 2004 to 2014 in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh when Congress was in power. This is Rahul’s first visit to Telangana after the formation of the new state, following bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh last year. Though it was the UPA government’s decision to carve out a separate state, the Congress failed to reap dividends in last year’s Assembly elections, in which it was humbled by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, which was voted to power.