NEW DELHI: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi warned the government that protests would spread to cities if the deadlock with farmers was not resolved soon, even as he urged farmers to not budge an inch on their demands. He said the government should put the three laws in the “wastepaper basket”.
At a press conference, Rahul slammed the police action on farmers at the Singhu border and Ghazipur, saying what was being done to them was “absolutely criminal”. “We’re telling the farmers that we are with you, don’t step back even an inch,” he said.
He addressed his message to the “youth of the country” who he said should understand the implications of the three farm laws — explaining that they will end the agriculture markets, allow unlimited storage of grains to four-five big businessmen which would make it impossible for farmers to negotiate prices and ensure that farmers can’t move courts in case of a grievance.
He said the middle-classes too would get a big shock as food prices would skyrocket because of the laws. “All farmers I spoke to in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have not fully understood these laws.
In Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, they have understood. The PM should not think that this movement will stop here.” This will move from farms to cities, because there are lakhs of youth there whose jobs have been snatched away by these four-five people (big businessmen),” Rahul said. To a question about continuing protests, Rahul shot back, “If a thief intrudes into your house at night, will you not try to stop him? Modi is putting thieves in the farmers’ houses.”
While urging the government to hold talks with farmers and repeal the agricultural laws, he said spreading of protests and instability would not be in national interest. To a question, He said if the government can pause the laws for one and half years, why can’t it junk them?
“Try to bring them after three years but in consultation with farmers. We will help you. We also believe the agri sector needs reforms but you have made a mistake and please accept it,” he added. He dubbed the laws as the “biggest transfer of wealth from the largest number of people to the smallest number of people”. tnnarguing that farmers are angry because “five people have everything and we have nothing and what we have is also being snatched from us.”