Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “abandoning” the poor after coming to power and said the NDA government was “rubbing salt into the wounds” of farmers by bringing in the land acquisition ordinance.
“We are here to send a strong message to the Prime Minister and his government. Ab bahut ho chuka hai (enough is enough),” she said, addressing a farmers’ rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground.
In her 15-minute speech in Hindi, she promised to fight for the farmers’ cause without making any compromises. “We have got a new energy and will fight for the poor and the weak. We might be out of power but we will not allow any leniency in our efforts in this direction,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi, 68, has been at the forefront of the Opposition’s charge against the Modi government’s “anti-farmer and pro-corporate” land acquisition bill. She also led leaders from 14 political parties in a march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 17.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said the new government had brought the land bill to hurt the interests of the farmers. Modi had “sold dreams” to the farmers and youth in order to win the Lok Sabha elections, Singh alleged.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh earlier said the party would intensify its movement on farmers’ issues and announced Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi would repeat protests like the one in Bhatta Parsaul in six lakh villages if the Modi government did not relent on the land bill and other issues.
Rahul Gandhi assured the gathering that he would stand by them in their fight. “Wherever they will suffer, Congress leaders will be there. I will be there. I assure farmers until they don’t get justice, I will continue fighting for the bill and win,” he said.