Farmer incomes have halved, says Rahul Gandhi

Abolish all three black laws which are against farmers and labourers, says former Congress chief.

December 02, 2020 07:32 pm | Updated 11:43 pm IST - New Delhi:

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday claimed that instead of doubling farmers’ income, as claimed by the Narendra Modi government, their income had been “halved”, while the income of “crony friends of the government” had grown four times.

Mr. Gandhi reiterated the Congress’ demand that the three farm laws should be abolished at the earliest. He also call the ongoing talks between farmers’ groups and the government a farce.

Farm laws meant to steal from farmers and help 2-3 friends of PM, says Rahul Gandhi

Mr. Gandhi’s remarks come at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre’s new agriculture reform laws.

“They [the government] said farmers’ income will be doubled. What they did was increase the income of [their] ‘friends’ four times and halved that of farmers. This is a government of suit-boot, lies and loot,” the Congress leader said in a tweet in Hindi.

He also shared a video showing the police using water cannons and firing tear gas shells during protests by farmers, with a speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi playing in the background, wherein Mr. Modi says his government was taking steps to resolve the problems faced by farmers and double their income.

Dilli Chalo | Farmers demand special Parliament session to repeal farm laws

“Modi government, stop giving ‘jumlas’ [rhetoric] to farmers, stop the dishonesty and atrocities, stop giving them the falsehood of talks, [and] abolish all three black laws which are against farmers and labourers,” Mr. Gandhi said in another tweet.

The party’s communication in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala also questioned the talks, saying that if the Prime Minister had already on two occasions asserted that the the three laws were right, “then what are the talks about?” Constitutionally, too, the three laws were faulty, Mr. Surjewala said, since agriculture is a State subject.

The Congress governments in Chattisgarh and Punjab have not yet filed a legal appeal against the laws, although they had announced their intention to do so.

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Farmer unions say the three new laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving farmers at the mercy of corporate houses. The Centre has said the MSP system will continue and the new laws will give farmers more options to sell their crop.

Farm leaders met Union ministers on Tuesday but talks remain inconclusive. Another round of talks will be held on December 3.

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