Modi repaying corporates: Rahul

Kisan rally launches Congress campaign.

Updated - November 28, 2021 07:39 am IST

Published - April 19, 2015 02:11 pm IST - New Delhi

With Rahul Gandhi back from his nearly two-month sabbatical, the Congress on Sunday declared an all-out war against the NDA government for its “anti-farmer and pro-industrialist policies” at a farmers’ rally organised in protest against the changes made to the 2013 Land Acquisition Bill by the BJP.

The Congress vice-president trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of introducing the Land Acquisition Ordinance in order to pay back industrialists who had helped him to “win the Lok Sabha election.”

Though the rally, attended by an estimated 80,000-strong crowd, was billed as a comeback for Mr. Gandhi, it did not remain a solo show as Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who spoke after him, delivered an equally sharp criticism of the Modi government.

“We have come together today to tell the Modi government that this is enough, we won’t let the farmers be ignored,” Ms. Gandhi said to loud cheers from the crowd.

Farmers living in fear: Rahul

The farmers’ rally is the Congress’ first major show of strength as it bids to chart a comeback from a series of electoral defeats over the past year.

It is also intended to send a strong message to the NDA government ahead of the second part of the budget session of Parliament that begins on Monday.

The Congress, which is the single largest party in the Rajya Sabha, had blocked the Modi government’s Land Bill all of last month and is set to do the same when it is introduced again.

At the rally, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi sought to reiterate the Congress’ “pro-farmer” position when it was in power.

“Whenever the Congress government could help the farmers, we did it. We waived farmers’ loans worth Rs.70,000 crore. We brought in the MGNREGA for the labourers. Whatever we did, we did for the poor,” he said.

He said farmers were now living in fear as they felt that the government had forgotten them and was working only for big industrialists.

Loan from industrialists

“Let me tell you how Modiji won the election. He took loans of thousands of crores from big industrialists from which his marketing was done. How will he pay back those loans now? He will do it by giving your land to those top industrialists. He wants to weaken the farmers, then snatch their land and give it to his industrialist friends,” he said.

Giving an assurance to the farmers, he said: “I will stand with you. Development is required but farmers are also needed. We do not want an India where a select few people get everything and farmers get nothing. The Congress will fight for you.”

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