Farmers most neglected in Modi rule, says Rahul - GulfToday

Farmers most neglected in Modi rule, says Rahul


A shopkeeper poses as he holds masks of Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi displayed for sale at a roadside shop in Chennai. Agence France-Presse

By AM Abdussalam/ Ashraf Padanna

Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday unleashed barrage of criticism against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for leading the country to ‘disaster’ by neglecting farmers, who provide food for the country. “Farmers are the most neglected lot in the country under Modiji’s rule. While UPA (United Progressive Alliance) was in power, we allocated Rs70000 crores (Rs700 billion) to help farmers out of the crisis situation. We also passed Land Bill to ensure adequate compensation for farmers when their land was acquired for other purposes. But for some reasons, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government wanted to scrap that piece of legislation”, Rahul Gandhi said while addressing a huge rally at Calicut beach around 5pm on Thursday. Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ignoring voices of farmers, fishermen and small businessmen, Rahul Gandhi said the NDA government listened only to industrialists such as Anil Ambani and Nirav Modi.

Rahul said his party stood for every citizen of this country irrespective of his origin, religion, gender or caste. He expressed confidence that Congress and United Democratic Front (UDF) candidates would be voted to parliament in a big way from Kerala. “Our battle against the fascist BJP government at the Centre begins here in Kerala. Our state unit is fully united and working together and we hope to win majority of the seats in the coming elections,” he said.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi vowed to set up a separate ministry for fishermen if the Congress is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections, while addressing the National Fishermen Parliament organised by All India Fishermen Congress in Thriprayar near Thrissur. “My commitment to you is that the moment we win the 2019 elections, all the fishermen of the country will get their own dedicated ministry in Delhi,” Rahul said. He added that unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi he did not make ‘fake promises’. “Please look at my speeches. When I say something, I only say it because I have decided to do it,” he said.

Also on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi visited the families of slain Youth Congress activists Kripesh and Sarath Lal at Periya in Kasargod. Elaborate security arrangements were in place in Periya in view of Rahul Gandhi’s visit. In the afternoon, Rahul reached Kannur airport where he interacted with the family members of slain Youth Congress activist Shuhaib.

Senior Congress leaders including Mukul Wasnik, leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala former chief minister Oommen Chandy and Congress state chief Mullappally Ramachandran accompanied Congress president.

“I am not like Narendra Modi. I don’t make fake promises...Please look at my speeches. When I say something, I only say it because I have decided to do it.” “Now in India, (industrialist) Anil Ambani or (fugitive billionaire) Nirav Modi have a lot of voice,” he added.

“They can whisper in, and the message goes, whereas farmers, fishermen, small businessmen have to shout really loudly before the government listens to them.” Referring to the 2017 Cyclone in which scores of fishermen died and many still missing, he said it’s not the government that comes to save them but themselves, though it’s the job of the Coast Guard and the Navy.

He criticised the government for not addressing various issues the community is facing like the conflict with the Sri Lankan Navy, coastal zone regulations and “big trawlers coming and taking away what’s your wealth.” “The sad thing is the moment India needs you; you’re there. But when you need India, India is not there. When you have a tragedy, people come to you condole with you,” he said.

“I don’t like giving small solutions. So I want to give you a big solution. So that if you feel something, immediately your voice is heard in Delhi. Somebody has to represent all fishermen of the country.” Accusing the government of taking 28 per cent tax from the fishermen, he promised to reform the Goods and Services Taxes (GST) structure, “making it simple.” Continuing his attack on “crony capitalism”, he alleged that Modi’s friends now owned most of the ports in the country.

“It is a simple equation, he is marketed by these 10-15 people and in return, he protects their interests and allows them to steal your money and land,” he said.

“There are many honest big businesses in India. I’m talking about those dishonest people who are associated with Mr Modi.”