Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 19
On the day the Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm issue began its deliberations, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said India has become a laughing stock with farmers of the country sitting on the roads in harsh winters, and that the repeal of the controversial farm laws is the only way out of the deadlock.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters on Tuesday, Gandhi accused the government of spawning monopolies and said four to five capitalist friends of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were now owning India.
“Millions do not accept the nonsense that is going on. They understand the massive failures taking place. We are a laughing stock. We cannot give people jobs. Farmers are sitting on the roads in the cold and I do not understand why the Prime Minister feels this is something to be proud of. He is destroying the vision Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress painstakingly made for India. He is throwing that vision to the winds,” said Gandhi, calling upon youngsters to see the “tragedy unfolding in the country in the form of monopolies”.
“This is not about the present. It is about the future. What we are seeing today across sectors from airports, infrastructure, power, telecom and retail is the development of massive monopolies in the country. I mean three, four, five people are now owning this country. This country is now owned by a limited group of people, who I call crony capitalists and have close relations with the Prime Minister, and who provide the Prime Minister media support,” he said, adding that agriculture was the last of the protected bastions to be overrun by these monopolies.
Describing the agitating farmers as patriots working to protect the country, Gandhi said it was tragic that the country was “watching the ridiculous show”.
“Why are the farmers of Punjab and Haryana standing there? Who are they? They are patriots protecting the livelihoods of people. I support them 100 per cent. Every single Indian should support them because they are fighting for us and for protecting the country from falling into the hands of few industrialists,” he noted adding that if the farm laws were to go through, the prices of essential commodities would rise.
Asked if the Congress would seek an all-party meet to break the ongoing deadlock between the Centre and the farmers, Gandhi said there was no deadlock.
“The government believes they can tire the farmers out and that the farmers can be fooled. Farmers cannot be tired out or fooled. They are wiser than the Prime Minister. There is only one solution, no other — the laws will have to be repealed,” said Gandhi adding that the Congress respected the ongoing farm agitation and was exerting pressure on the government in its own ways.
He alleged that the farmers were the first of the government towards monopolisation of sectors and there was more to come.
“You will understand this when you become slaves,” he said.