‘Mark my words…’: Rahul Gandhi says Centre will be forced to repeal farm laws
- He is in Tamil Nadu to take stock of Congress’ preparation ahead of the legislative assembly elections due in April-May this year.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday expressed confidence in the ongoing agitation by farmers’ unions at Delhi’s borders and claimed that the government would be forced to repeal the farm laws introduced by the government.
“Mark my words. Take it from me. The government will be forced to take these laws (newly introduced farm laws), back. Remember what I said,” Rahul Gandhi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He is in Tamil Nadu to take stock of Congress’ preparation ahead of the legislative assembly elections due in April-May this year and also participated in Pongal and Jallikattu celebrations in Madurai.
Gandhi also lashed out at the Centre alleging that these laws have been introduced to benefit multinational companies. The Congress leader, while speaking to the press, said that these laws will benefit a handful of individuals at the expense of farmers across the country.
“(The) government isn't just neglecting them, it is conspiring to destroy them because they want to benefit 2-3 of their friends. They want to give what belongs to farmers to 2-3 of their friends. That's what's happening. Neglect is too weak a word to explain what is taking place,” he said.
Farmers have also pointed out that the new laws will pave the way for corporate farming and affect procurement under the Minimum Support System (MSP). They have been protesting for more than seven weeks against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 at Delhi’s borders.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders had earlier attacked Rahul Gandhi regarding his stance on the farm laws. Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman had questioned Rahul Gandhi’s stance while highlighting that his party, Congress, had mentioned the reforms in their 2019 Lok Sabha elections manifesto.
“I want to ask Rahul Gandhi (that) were these pro-farmers policies not mentioned in the 2019 election manifesto of Congress? They are protesting just because those reforms are being implemented by PM Modi, and not them,” Sitharaman had asked.
In its plan for reforms in the agricultural sector, Congress’ election manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls had said that if the party forms the government it would “repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) Act and make trade in agricultural produce — including exports and inter-state trade — free from all restrictions.” The party manifesto had also said it maintains that the “Essential Commodities Act, 1955 belongs to the age of controls. Congress promises to replace the Act by an enabling law that can be invoked only in the case of emergencies.”