Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, MP, has assured farmers in the State that the Congress, if elected to power, will legislate to ensure minimum support price (MSP) for their products.
Mr. Gandhi was interacting with farmers from different parts of the State during his Bharat Jodo Yatra at Perinthalmanna on Tuesday.
He assured them that the Congress would continue to raise its voice against the Centre’s anti-farmer policies. “The Congress has always stood for the cause of farmers. As a responsible Opposition, we will bring up all your issues in the legislature,” he said.
The farmers raised issues such as eco-sensitive zone, government’s arbitrary acquisition of farmlands, crash in rubber price, and increasing man-animal conflict during discussions with Mr. Gandhi.
Earlier in the morning, the yatra entered Malappuram district at Pulamanthol and proceeded to Patikkad. Thousands gathered on both sides of the road to welcome Mr. Gandhi. He interacted with them whenever possible and met several youngsters as he marched ahead along with Congress leaders from the district.
Mr. Gandhi completed 435 km when he concluded the 20th day of the yatra at Pandikkad. The last leg of the day’s march, from Pattikkad to Pandikkad, highlighted the Congress’ ire against the “ongoing atrocities against women in the country.” Hundreds of placards were raised seeking justice for Ankita Bhandari and holding the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttarakhand responsible for her murder.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, who joined the yatra in its Malappuram leg, said, “Every step taken by the ‘padayatris’ was dedicated to the issue of continued atrocities on girls and young women. The latest being the horrific case of Ankita in Uttarakhand. Earlier, there was a travesty of justice in the case of Bilkis Bano.”
Mr. Ramesh said the rejection of a plaint against the yatra by the High Court was proof of the Congress’ claim that the yatra did not inconvenience people. “Only two groups are inconvenienced by the yatra - the BJP and the CPI(M) in Kerala,” he said.
Leaders of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) met Mr. Gandhi at Perinthalmanna where he rested for lunch. Led by IUML general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty, party leaders expressed their support for the yatra.