Tribune News Service
Badhni Kalan (Moga), October 4
To protest the Centre’s new farm laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today launched a three-day tractor rally at Badhni Kalan in Moga district. Addressing a gathering, Rahul vowed to scrap these new laws when the Congress returned to power at the Centre.
Alleging that the BJP-led NDA government was acting at the behest of select corporate houses to “destroy” the farmers, he said: “Modi ko Ambani aur Adani chalaate hain (Modi government is run by Ambani and Adani). What can the farmers expect from a PM who is a puppet in the hands of big corporate houses?”
You (PM Modi) claim that the farmers are happy with the farm legislations. Why are they then protesting against the laws? — Rahul Gandhi
He claimed the Union Government wanted to dismantle the mandi system in order to benefit the capitalists. “But we will not let that happen. We will not let them destroy the farming sector. The Congress fully backs the farmers’ agitation,” he told the gathering. Pointing out that the plight of the farmers was worsening, he said while the Centre had announced incentives for the industry and waived bad loans, it had done nothing to help the farmers.
Rahul attacked the UP government over the Hathras incident, alleging that no action had been taken against those responsible for the rape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.
The ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’ saw a sulking Navjot Sidhu on the dais with the CM. Rahul and the CM sat on a tractor driven by PCC chief Sunil Jakhar while AICC general secretary Harish Rawat and Navjot Sidhu were on another tractor with young Deepender Hooda on the driver’s seat.
Capt Amarinder Singh said he feared the MSP system might be done away with by the Modi government in the coming years. “Hence, farmers across the country must come on a common platform to fight for their rights.” Sidhu demanded a special House session to nullify the new farm laws. He said Punjab must announce its own MSP for crops, including oilseeds and pulses. “We will triumph only if we send Ambanis and Adanis out of the state”, he maintained. “I am a farmer, and I know what the future holds for us. Owners of land will become labourers in their fields”, warned Jakhar.