Hitting out at the Central government over the farmers’ protest at the Delhi borders, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the only solution to the deadlock is to repeal the three farm laws.
He accused the government of “destroying” Indian agriculture by enacting the three farm laws.
Releasing a booklet to highlight the pitfalls of the legislation at a press conference, Gandhi said, “There is a tragedy unfolding today in the country, the government wants to ignore the issue and misinform the country. I’m not going to speak about farmers alone as it is only part of the tragedy. It’s important for youngsters. This is not about the present but about your future.”
“The rice, wheat you (middle class) buy comes at the rate you purchase because of APMC and the agricultural system. This is not an assault on farmers but on the middle class and on every single youngster in the country, who is not able to get a job,” Rahul added.
“I support the protesting farmers 100 per cent and every single person in the country should support them as they are fighting for us,” he added.
Earlier in the day, BJP president J P Nadda criticised Rahul Gandhi in a tweet. Taking a dig, the Congress leader said it was an “attempted distraction”. The farmers know that it was Rahul Gandhi who stood up in Bhatta Parsaul and over the land acquisition issue, not BJP leader Nadda, he said.
“I am not afraid of anyone, neither of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi nor of anyone else. I am a clean person, they can’t touch me. They can shoot me, but can’t touch me. I am a patriot and I protect my country, and I will keep doing it,” he said.
What has happened?
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana and Punjab, have been protesting at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) system for their crops.
Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their products anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.