'Tragedy unfolding today in country,' says Rahul Gandhi on protest over farm laws
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of monopolising the agriculture sector as he renewed his attack against the Centre over the contentious farm laws. Gandhi on Tuesday released a booklet to highlight the pitfalls of the legislation enacted in September last year. "There is a tragedy unfolding today in the country, govt wants to ignore the issue and misinform the country," he said while addressing a conference after the release. "I am not going to speak about farmers alone as it is only part of the tragedy. It is important for youngsters. This is not about present but about your future," he added.
"Today, every industry is under a monopoly of three to five people. Be it airport, telecom or power. Modi government wants to give the agriculture sector as well to those four to five industrialists," he added.
The Congress leader also said that the new farm reforms are designed to destroy India's agriculture sector. "The biggest business in this country is agriculture. Sixty per cent of our people are engaged in agriculture and in terms of value, agriculture is by far the biggest hit. Now we are seeing is that the last bastion which was protected from monopoly is now being overrun. Three new laws have been passed. They are designed to destroy agriculture by destroying the mandi, Essential Commodities Act, and by making sure that no Indian farmer can go to court to protect himself," he added.
"We were a preeminent economy, now we are a laughing stock," Gandhi also said.
Farmers are agitating against the farm laws for over 50 days now and the government has held nine round of talks so far. However, it has failed to bring any resolution to the matter. The farmers are adamant on the demand to repeal the laws which the government has refused and is firm on their offer to amend the legislation.
In the last meeting, the Centre had suggested that the unions constitute their own informal group to prepare a concrete proposal on the three farm laws for further discussion at their next meeting. Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has also assured that the government will hear the proposal with an "open mind."
The Centre on Monday postponed the tenth round of talks scheduled to be held on Tuesday with the farmers. The meeting will now take place on January 20.
Farmers are agitating against 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.
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