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Congress in touch with 137 farm outfits for rally against Centre on October 23

Along with Rafale and price rise, the Congress plans to make the farmers’ issues one of its main talking points during the campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2018 23:47 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress,farmer rally,kisan rally
Kisan rally at Maharaj Ranjeet Singh flyover, in New Delhi, India on September 05, 2018. The Congress is organising a farmers’ rally in Delhi on October 23 in protest against the Modi government’s agrarian policy. (HT File PHOTO)

The Congress is organising a farmers’ rally in Delhi on October 23 in protest against the Modi government’s agrarian policy and is in touch with 137 farmers’ organisations across the country to make it a success, a party functionary said on Monday.

Nana Patole, the head of the party’s Kisan and Khet Mazdoor department, said he would talk to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Naresh Tikait, who had led the Kisan Kranti Padyatra that started from Tikait Ghat in Haridwar on September 23 and ended at Delhi’s Kisan Ghat on the intervening night of October 2 and 3.

The protesting farmers were demanding unconditional loan waiver, clearing of dues by sugar mills, higher prices for crops, free electricity for farms and a cut in diesel prices.

Patole said farmers from different parts of the country would descend on the national capital on October 23 and lay a siege on Parliament in protest against the Modi government’s farm policies.

“The protest will be held under the Congress banner and our slogan will be ‘Modi jawab do, hisab do’,” he said.

The BJP has refused to react to the proposed rally.

Along with Rafale and price rise, the Congress plans to make the farmers’ issues one of its main talking points during the campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The party is of the view that agrarian distress coupled with farmers’ growing anger against the Modi government would hurt the electoral prospects of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the assembly elections in five states this year and the Lok Sabha polls next year.

The Congress has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failure to fulfil his 2014 poll promises, including fixing the minimum support price for crops at cost plus 50% profit to farmers. It has also charged the government with breaking the backbone of farmers by not checking the rise in prices of diesel and fertilisers.

It alleged that the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme has become a “profit-reaping” scheme for private insurance companies.

“In 2016-17 and 2017-18, the Modi government collected ?19,000 crore through agricultural cess. But the farmers under the Crop Insurance Scheme received a compensation of only ?5,650 crore whereas the companies made a profit of ?14,828 crore through premium,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

First Published: Oct 08, 2018 23:47 IST