Leading Congress’ three-day ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra‘ in Punjab, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “finishing” farmers and labourers with the three recently passed farm laws just as he had “destroyed” small business’ with demonetisation and GST.
“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,” Rahul Gandhi said at a rally in Punjab’s Sangrur
Intensifying his attack on the Centre, the Congress leader also asked why the Centre was in a hurry to bring the farm laws when the country was going through a pandemic.
Crowd before the arrival of Rahul Gandhi at Barnala chowk in Punjab’s Sangrur. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)
“The reason is that Modi thinks if feet of farmers and labourers are hit with axes during coronavirus time, then they will not be able to come out of their houses,” he said.
He also alleged that the Centre waived debt of people, including big businessman like Adani and Ambani, but “finished” small and medium businesses.
Everyone knows that this system needs to be changed, farmers need to be given infrastructure, markets need to be created but Narendra Modi is not even trying to strengthen this system: Shri @RahulGandhi #?????_???_?????_????? pic.twitter.com/7OhHNJjDyG
— Congress (@INCIndia) October 5, 2020
He further stated that it was not “Ambani and Adani” but small and medium-sized businesses who generate employment in the country. “I am saying with a guarantee that this country will not be able to give employment to its youth in the coming time because Modi has destroyed the employment providing system,” Gandhi said.
‘Will not allow disbanding of MSP and mandi systems’
At his Patiala rally, Rahul reiterated that the Congress party would not allow the disbanding of MSP and mandi systems in the country.
“MSP, mandis and food procurement systems are like a wall in this country. Modi wants to break this wall for Ambani and Adani,” he said while adding that farmers were the backbone of the country and he would not allow the Centre to attack the “soul of India”.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and others during their ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’ over new farm laws, at Samana in Patiala district.
“We will not step back even an inch. We will collectively fight Modi, Ambani and Adani,” he said. Gandhi alleged that people would have to pay twice or thrice the price for food once “Ambani and Adani captured the country’s farm system”.
“Tomorrow one side will be Ambani and the other side will be Adani. Can you fight them, can you file a case against them. Certainly not,” he said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab Harish Rawat, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, ministers Balbir Sidhu, Vijay Inder Singla, Rana Gurmit Sodhi and Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda were among the leaders present with Gandhi during his rallies.
The Congress leader also assured farmers in Punjab, a Congress-ruled state, that they could approach the administration if they faced any problem in mandis.
‘Will let Rahul enter’: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
Meanwhile, the Haryana government on Monday said it won’t stop Rahul Gandhi from entering the state on Tuesday. “We have decided that Rahul Gandhi’s tractor rally will not be stopped from entering Haryana. We don’t want any law and order issues to be unnecessarily created causing a breach of peace and harmony in the State. However, no violation of law and order shall be tolerated,” a senior Haryana government officer told The Indian Express.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh ride a tractor driven by PPCC President Sunil Kumar Jakhar during their ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’ over new farm laws, in Sangrur district. (PTI)
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that Haryana farmers have understood tactics of the Congress party and would not allow anybody to mislead them.
“We don’t have any objection on Rahul Gandhi’s tractor rally. However, if any attempts are made to gather crowds and disrupt law and order in the state, it shall not be tolerated at any cost. As such Rahul Gandhi has no work. Haryana farmers have understood Congress tactics and will not allow anybody to mislead them. Farmers have understood Congress’ lies. If anybody attempts to take law and order in his hands, it shall not be allowed,” Khattar, who was in Karnal to meet farmers and mandi association representatives, said
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij also said that the government had no problem if Rahul Gandhi entered the state with “a few people” for his tractor rallies. “But he will not be allowed to bring a big crowd to ‘disturb’ the atmosphere of the state,” Vij said
“This issue concerns our law and order. Last month, two Congress-sponsored rallies were also stopped by us from entering our state. Congress is in power in Punjab and they want to use state machinery to spoil Haryana’s peaceful atmosphere, which we will not allow,” Vij was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The Congress party is scheduled to hold tractor rallies in Kurukshetra and Karnal on October 6 and 7.
(Inputs from PTI)