New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Friday (January 15) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not respect farmers and wants to tire out those protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws. He also said that the talks that are being held with the protesting farmer leaders are part of the government’s delaying tactics.
Farmers will not relent till the laws are repealed, said Rahul Gandhi at Jantar Mantar, where he along with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joined party MPs in their demonstration against the new farm laws.
Rahul Gandhi said, “The three (farm) laws have been brought to finish the farmers. If we don’t stop this now, it will continue to happen in other sectors too. Narendra Modi does not respect the farmers. The farmers will neither deter nor fear.”
On being asked about the resignation of one of the four experts nominated by the Supreme Court for talks with farmers, Rahul said, “Maya shabd suna hai aapne? Maya hai maya, poora ka poora, media -created maya hai aur yeh maya tutne wali hai. Jis din yeh maya tutti us din phir dekhna kya hota hai.”
The former Congress president’s remarks come on a day when the government is meeting protesting farmer unions for the ninth time to break the over-a-month-long deadlock on the three new agri laws. He said the talks that are being held with the protesting farmer leaders are part of the government’s delaying tactics.
“The talks are being held only to delay. PM Modi thinks he has the power and will tire the farmers out, but he is mistaken,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters, adding “Narendra Modi does not have basic respect for farmers. He does not even care if over 100 farmers die. He thinks he has the power and the protesting farmers will tire out after some days, but they will not relent.”
“They (the government) do not know the strength of farmers, they will not relent. PM Modi does not understand this. Had he understood this, the government would have taken back the laws today itself,” Rahul said.
Asked about objections being raised over the proposed tractor rally by protesting farmers on Republic Day, he said, “If farmers want to come out and take out a tractor parade on Republic Day, what is the harm in it.”
“The prime minister misunderstands, he thinks this country is run by four to five industrialists, who control him,” Rahul Gandhi said, adding that the country is run by farmers, labourers and the youth.
He said if anyone “attacks” farmers, it is an attack on the country. The country’s farmers have maintained the country’s independence by ensuring food security and the day food security is lost, the country will lose its independence, Rahul Gandhi said.
“This is a financial issue, not a political issue. PM Modi wants to hand over everything that farmers have to his corporate friends,” the Congress leader alleged.
Rahul Gandhi also raised strong objections to protesting farmers being dubbed as “Khalistanis”, and added that thousands of farmers have come out to protest against the farm laws and “you should not have dubbed them as ‘Khalistanis'”.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi since November 28 against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
At the Jantar Mantra, Congress MPs Ravneet Singh Bittu, Jasbir Singh Gill and some other legislators from Punjab have been staging the protest for over a month.
(With Agency Inputs)