Kheti Bachao Yatra: If laws are for benefit of farmers, why are they protesting across Punjab, asks Rahul - ECAS Punjab

Kheti Bachao Yatra: If laws are for benefit of farmers, why are they protesting across Punjab, asks Rahul

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Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, October 4

Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of passing contentious legislations against farmers and asked if the laws were to benefit them, then what explained the protests across Punjab.

He also said that the Prime Minister had been lying since the past six years.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Tribune photo

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh labelled the Union government's approach to agriculture as "Kisan maaru, Punjab maaru (one that would kill farmers and Punjab)".

"India used to borrow from across the world to feed its people till the time Punjabi farmers took the charge of feeding them," he added.

Singh said that the people of Punjab have initiated a "war" against the union government to protect the rights of the farmers.

"Punjabis comprise just 2 per cent of the population but they feed 50 per cent of the country. I don't know why the NDA government has brought these new legislations, which were not in the interest of farmers,"he added.

Singh said he feared that the MSP will be taken back by the Union government in the coming years and farmers needed to unite for the common cause.

He lashed out at the Akali Dal, claiming that former union minister Harsimrat Badal gave her nod to the controversial Bills in a Cabinet meeting.

"The people should not rely upon the Akali leadership. They were were now shedding crocodile tears," he added.

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu termed the contentious agriculture laws as an attack on India's federal structure and diversity.

"Punjab needed Green Revolution...India needed Green revolution. Punjab's farmers provided grains to the entire country. By giving Punjab less MSP, 80,000 crore people were fed. But today the government is trying to kill the farmer and his income," he said.

The leaders were speaking at Congress' 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' on Sunday to protest against the contentious farm laws.

Highlights:

  • Punjab and India have no fear of China, no fear of Pakistan. If there is a fear, it is of BJP. If something will destroy India, it is the BJP: Punjab jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa
  • Till the time they don't change the laws which they have passed, ensure that MSP will survive, their promises won't make any difference: Capt Amarinder Singh
  • Punjab used to earn Rs 5,000 crore from Mandis. This government will ruin the livelihoods of 30,000 arthiyas and 5,00,000 labourers: Sidhu
  • In the absence of Mandis, farmers will have to work as labourers
  • They are imposing America's failed system on us. Those countries had industrialization. We do not. How will we generate employment opportunities?: Sidhu
  • Ambani and Adani will come with an army of lawyers. How will they negotiate with a farmer who has a 2-acre farm?: Sidhu

  • This country is being run by capitalists. When you bail out farmers its called subsidies, when you give money to corporates, its called its called incentives: Sidhu

  • We will not let Ambani, Adani enter Punjab: Sidhu

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will hold tractor rallies in Punjab and Haryana from October 4-6. Earlier, Gandhi was scheduled to hold tractor rallies from October 3-5, the party said. However, the rest of his itinerary will remain the same.

"Change in @Rahul Gandhi tractor rallies programme; rescheduled to October 4, 5, 6. Rest (itinerary) remains the same," Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's media advisor, Raveen Thukral, tweeted.

Singh, state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, Congress' Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat, and all state ministers and party MLAs will join the protests, "to give voice to the angst and pain of the farmers, whose livelihood and future has been put at stake by the central legislations".

A spokesperson of Punjab Congress had said on Thursday that the tractor rallies were expected to be supported by farmers' organisations and will cover more than 50 km over three days.

The rallies will be conducted amid strict COVID-19 protocols, the spokesperson had said.

Gandhi is likely to address rallies at Kaithal and Pipli in Kurukshetra district of Haryana on October 6 instead of October 5, following which he will return to Delhi.

Farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre's farm reforms would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big companies.

Parliament had last week passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; and the Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill. — with PTI



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