Addressing a large rally in Yavatmal, among the districts reporting the highest number of farmers’ suicides in the country, Gandhi said that for the Nano car project, the Gujarat government had acquired the lands of 3,000 farmers.
“Those farmers were ruined. Only 2,000 among them got jobs… This cannot be a model of development,” he told the gathering comprising mainly farmers of the Vidarbha region.
Farmers are the backbone of the country’s economy and even if nobody thinks about them, the Congress has always worked in the interest of the farming community, said Gandhi.
“To ensure that farmlands are not siphoned off my industrialists at throwaway prices, the Congress brought the land acquisition laws. It is the Congress which arranged for writing off the Rs.70,000 crore farm loans,” he said.
“Even here the opposition raised questions about where would the money come from… They resented how the government virtually opened its treasury to help the farmers, but never raised a doubt when industrialists were given all facilities,” said Gandhi.
Questioning the Bharatiya Janata Party’s credentials in the matter of corruption, Gandhi said it was the Congress which brought the RTI and Lokpal bills to tackle graft strongly.
“But, the opposition leaders screaming about corruption all over the country don’t seem to see the corruption in (BJP-ruled states) Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh,” he said.
Warning those who threaten to “finish off” the Congress, Gandhi said that it is a movement and thus can never be eliminated.
“The opposition has no knowledge of history, so the question of having any knowledge about the Congress – which takes everybody along – does not arise,” he said.
Referring to the developmental issues, Gandhi said special efforts are underway to increase employment opportunities and industrialization so as to overtake China in manufacturing. He said 50 percent reservations for women has been given at local levels and 33 percent women’s reservation in parliament will be accomplished.
He also assured farmers of free medical help in all government hospitals, housing and other issues.