Modi Wants to Hand Over Agriculture to ‘Two Friends’: Rahul Gandhi
The Congress MP addressed farmers’ mahapanchayats in Rupangarh in Ajmer and Nagaur’s Makrana.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who’s on a two-day visit to Rajasthan, stated on Saturday, 13 February, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to ‘hand over’ the country’s agricultural business to “two friends.”
In a bid to extend solidarity to the farmers protesting against the three contentious farm laws, Gandhi addressed farmers’ mahapanchayats in Rupangarh in Ajmer and Nagaur's Makrana.
He stated that agriculture was India’s biggest business and impacted 40 percent of the population including small and medium-sized businesses, traders, labourers and not just the farmers.
“Modiji wants to hand over this to his two friends,” Gandhi asserted referring to allegations that the farm laws will benefit big corporate firms instead of the farmers.
Wearing a Rajasthani safa or turban, Gandhi arrived in Rupanagarh on a tractor with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra.
PTI reported that Gandhi spoke while standing on a platform made of two tractor-trailers while the farmers sat or stood on tractor-trailers around the platform.
At Nagaur's Makrana, the Congress leader also stated that the “backbone of the country is being broken,” and this had started with demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“Farmers, labourers, traders are being sidelined and the path is being cleared for two-three businessmen,” Gandhi alleged, adding that labourers had requested the prime minister to give them tickets to go home, but he didn’t and instead “waived loans of Rs 1.5 lakh crore of the rich.”
On Observing Silence in the Parliament
Gandhi went on to say that he kept silence in the Parliament as a “mark of respect to 200 farmers who died during the agitation against the farm laws.” However, he claimed that not a single BJP MP stood for it.
On Friday, 12 February, BJP MPs moved a breach of privilege notice against Gandhi in the Lok Sabha and also demanded stringent action against him for ‘contempt of the House’, since he observed a two-minute silence without permission from the Chair.
While addressing the farmers Gandhi added, “The Speaker said I should give in writing. Now, I will give in writing to the Speaker that all members in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha should observe a two-minute silence.”
He also told the rally that he had refused to speak on the budget in the Parliament and asserted that “I will only speak on the issue of farmers.”
He also alluded to the prime minister’s ‘andolanjeevi’ remark, calling it an insult to farmers. He further alleged that the farm laws would finish the mandi system, allow unlimited hoarding and “snatch the rights of the farmers to go to courts.”
PTI also reported that earlier, Gandhi had offered prayers at a temple dedicated to folk deity Veer Tejaji in Ajmer's Sursura village along with Gehlot, AICC general secretary Ajay Maken, Dotasra and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.