Modi 'finishing' farmers and labourers with new farms laws: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was finishing “farmers and labourers” with the three farms laws just as he had destroyed small shopkeepers with demonetisation and GST.

Addressing a gathering in this Punjab town, Gandhi also asked the BJP-led Centre why it was in a hurry to bring the laws when there was a pandemic on.

Like he (Modi) finished small shopkeepers and small medium businesses with GST (Goods and Services Tax) and demonetisation, he is finishing farmers and labourers the same way and slashing your throats with these three laws, he said.

Gandhi underscored the need for improving the food procurement and Public Distribution System and acknowledged that they had shortcomings.

There is a need to strengthen this system. More mandis need to be set up. There is need to guarantee MSP (minimum support price). There is need to give infrastructure to farmers. there is need to set up silos, he said.

Narendra Modi is not doing this. Modi is not strengthening the system… If Modi gives better PDS and guarantees MSP and gives more mandis, then Ambani and Adani cannot make money, the Congress leader alleged .

Gandhi, who is holding a series of tractor rallies named ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’ across the state to protest the Centre’s new farm laws, accused the prime minister of destroying the system.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also addressed the gathering and hit out at the Centre over the new farm laws.

Terming them “black laws”, Singh said his government would take the fight forward and take every step to safeguard the interest of the farming community.

It is total injustice with farmers, said Singh while referring to the three laws.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab Harish Rawat, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, ministers Balbir Sidhu, Vijay Inder Singla, Rana Gurmit Sodhi and Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda were among the leaders present on the occasion. However, MLA and former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was not there.

President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which were passed by the Parliament last month.