Jaipur: Former Congress party president Rahul Gandhi continued his sharp attack on prime minister Narendra Modi and his government on Friday, saying if the farm laws are implemented it will leave 40% of the people in the country unemployed.
Addressing a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Pilibanga in Hanumangarh district and in Padampura in Sriganganagar district, Gandhi reiterated his opposition to the farm laws, saying the first law will finish mandis, the second law will finish the essential commodities act and encourage hoarding while the third law will deny farmer justice by keeping him away from the courts.
Gandhi said Modi does not understand the power of India’s farmers and labourers. “Now the farmers, traders and labourers are going to show their strength.”
In keeping with the rustic setting, charpais were placed on the stage instead of chairs and sofas at Pilibanga while mudhas or stools were placed in Padampura.
The Congress rift was also evident during Gandhi’s visit. While chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan incharge Ajay Maken and state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara were seated on the dais at both meetings, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who is neither a minister nor state Congress chief, also found a place on the dais, leading to buzz within political circles about the weightage given to him.
Pilot did not speak in Pilibanga and made a five-minute speech at Padampur. Interestingly, the official press release issued by Dotasara after Gandhi’s two meetings made no mention of Pilot’s speech.
Meanwhile, welcoming Gandhi to Rajasthan, state BJP president Satish Poonia put out a tweet in which he shared Gandhi’s 2018 speech in where he had counted from 1 to 10 and said if the Congress came to power, farm loans would be waived in 10 days. Poonia said over two dozen farmers in the state have lost their lives waiting for the Congress to fulfil its promise.
After Gandhi’s speeches, Poonia said Gandhi avoided any reference to the Congress’s promise of loan waiver but made baseless comments on the farm laws and misled people on the China issue and made unparliamentary remarks against the PM. And a Congress charpai also broke in the meeting, which means it was a failure.
In his speech, Gandhi said agriculture is the world’s biggest business and 40 percent of India’s population is linked to agriculture, whether farmers, small traders, shopkeepers, labourers or middlemen.
“Since independence, the Congress’s effort has been to see that this business should not get concentrated in one person’s hands but should remain in the hands of 40 percent of the population,” he said.
“Modi ji says he brought the laws for the farmers. If these laws are pro-farmer, then why are farmers in the country unhappy? Why are lakhs of farmers agitating on the border of Delhi?,” he said.
Gandhi also spoke on the India-China border spat in Ladakh. He said China has snatched thousands of kilometres of India’s land and martyred our soldiers.
“In parliament, the defence minister says an agreement has been reached. What agreement? The Modi government has given India’s land to China. At Pangong lake, India had a post at Fincer-4. China intruded there. The agreement says now we will put up our post in Finger-3. India has ceded our hallowed land between Finger-3 and Finger-4 to China,” he said.
Gandhi arrived on a two-day visit to Rajasthan on Friday and is holding meetings with farmers. On Saturday, Gandhi will address kisan mahapanchayts in Makrana in Nagaur district and in Rupangarh in Ajmer district where he will also participate in a tractor rally.