In a bid to oppose the new farmers’ legislation, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday attended a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Saharanpur where she criticised the BJP government at the Centre. The three agricultural laws enacted by the central government are monster-like and want to kill farmers, she alleged. Gandhi said the laws will be abolished if her party comes to power at the Centre.
“If voted to power, the Congress will scrap these laws. Farmers will get the MSP (minimum support price). Laws will be made to help you, not oppress you,” she said.
Speaking to farmers at the Kisan Mahapanchayat, Gandhi said, “When the Congress government is formed, laws will not be made to grind you but to help you. We will not do politics with your life. In 1955 Jawaharlal Nehru enacted a law against hoarding, but this law has been abolished by the BJP government. This new law will help the ‘billionaires’ and they will decide the price of farmers’ produce.”
The rally was the first in a series of farmers’ meetings planned by the Congress in western Uttar Pradesh, a year before the assembly elections in the state where the opposition party is struggling to revive itself.
Gandhi was presented with a pair of ploughs at the meeting. Beginning her address, the leader said she had visited the Saharanpur temple dedicated to goddess Shakumbhari. She also went to the Raipur Khanqah Dargah.
“These three laws were drafted in such a way that government `mandis’ will eventually close down, the farmers will not get the MSP and there will be hoarding,” she said.
Earlier, she tweeted in Hindi, “To listen to the farmers’ ‘dil ki baat’, understand them, share my feelings with them and support their struggle, I will be in Saharanpur today. The BJP government will have to withdraw the black farm laws.”
When asked to comment on the Congress event, UP minister Anand Swarup Shukla said “drama is being enacted in the name of farmers”. He claimed that “gangs” opposing the government have gone international, referring to tweets on the farmers’ protest by foreign celebrities. Shukla asked Congress leaders to “oppose Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but not the country”.