New Delhi: The Congress has swung into action for direct political intervention to sustain the farmers' struggle, by mobilising the public support for them across the country and expose the Modi government refusing to repeal the three controversial farm laws brought to promote the crony capitalists.
It believes the time has come to turn the farmers' protests into a people's movement, picking up the trend seen in western UP with the Kisan Mahapanchayats across the region. While the farmers staging protests at Delhi borders for the 78th day do not want the political parties to join their struggle, the Congress leadership felt the party could start its own movement to strengthen the hands of the farmers. The Congress has kicked off its rallies from UP. Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi held the first rally in Saharanpur on Wednesday to start the ‘Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan’ campaign that will continue through the month of February.
These include two rallies in Meerut and Bijnor to be addressed by her on February and another round of rallies at Mathura and Muzaffarnagar on February 20. Rajasthan has already witnessed two major farmers' rallies addressed by Congress leader Sachin Pilot and Rahul Gandhi is rushing to Rajasthan Thursday evening after taking part in the budget debate in the Lok Sabha to hold at least another three rallies in the state.
All senior leaders of Uttar Pradesh have been also asked to participate in the rallies in support of the farmers across the state. Priyanka, who is in-charge general secretary of UP, has also planned a 14-km long "padyatra". march on foot, in every district on February 25.
In the Saharanpur rally, Priyanka urged the farmers to join the protests wherever they are without taking even one step backwards till the three laws are repealed. She promised to repeal the laws if the Congress came to power. "You will get better minimum support price (MSP), laws would be made for you and not to put you on sale," she said.
“The time has come to wake up... don’t go back. You have started a movement, it is a movement for your existence, a movement for your land. Don’t go back even one step. We stand with you, we will fight for you. We will not go back before these laws are scrapped,” she said at Chilkhana in Saharanpur.
“You have seen them (the central government), you have seen everything and so be wise now, understand the truth. Whenever they make a promise, you can be sure that it will be empty.
"They have done everything for their big, rich friends, opened all the doors for them. But where were those millionaire friends when there was a lockdown, when the epidemic hit us? Where were they and where was this government when people were walking on these highways towards their villages? What did you (the government) do, how did you help them? Those people (the government and its rich friends) don’t care for you,” Priyanka said.
On Wednesday, she attacked the Prime Minister's "Andolan jeevi" jibe, tweeting that "one who is selling the country is crony-jeevi."