While attacking the centre over the farm bills, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not doing anything to improve the system involving mandis, instead he is destroying that system.
Rahul Gandhi while addressing a gathering in Punjab's Sangrur said: "We accept that there are loopholes in the system involving mandis, PDS & MSP, it needs to be strengthened. But Narendra Modi is not doing anything to improve that system, he's destroying that system...With Farm Bills, he's killing farmers."
He further said that Narendra Modi-led government has not introduced a single policy to that will benefit the poor. "For six years, Narendra Modi has been in power in Delhi and for six years this government has been attacking the poor, laborers and farmers one after another. They do not have a single policy to benefit the poor, their policy is made for their 3-4 chosen friends."
Addressing a gathering in this Punjab town, Gandhi also asked the BJP-led Centre why it was in a hurry to bring the laws when there was a pandemic on. "Like he (Modi) finished small shopkeepers and small medium businesses with GST (Goods and Services Tax) and demonetisation, he is finishing farmers and labourers the same way and slashing your throats with these three laws," he said.
Gandhi underscored the need for improving the food procurement and Public Distribution System and acknowledged that they had shortcomings. "There is a need to strengthen this system. More mandis need to be set up. There is need to guarantee MSP (minimum support price). There is need to give infrastructure to farmers. There is need to set up silos," he said.
"Narendra Modi is not doing this. Modi is not strengthening the system... If Modi gives better PDS and guarantees MSP and gives more mandis, then Ambani and Adani cannot make money," the Congress leader alleged. Gandhi, who is holding a series of tractor rallies named 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' across the state to protest the Centre's new farm laws, accused the prime minister of "destroying" the system.
Similar protests against the farm legislations have been witnessed in various parts of the country including Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. According to the Centre, these laws will help small and marginal farmers by allowing them to sell produce outside 'mandis' and sign agreements with agri-business firms and doing away with stock-holding limits on key commodities.
The Parliament has recently passed the three Bills which have come into effect from September 27 after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent. The three bills - Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 - were passed in the monsoon session of parliament.