Congress’s Rahul Gandhi promised Punjab farmers today that the party will remove the contentious farm sector laws once it comes to power in the Centre. Calling Minimum Support Price, food procurement and wholesale markers the “three pillars” of the country, Mr Gandhi said “Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to destroy this system”.
“Their (the BJP’s) only aim is to destroy MSP and food procurement… The Congress is never going to let this government to do it,” he added, flagging off the three-day tractor rally by farmers in Punjab.
“I guarantee that whenever the Congress comes to power, we will remove these black laws. We will fight against the Narendra Modi government and will remove these black laws,” he said.
The Congress leader, later in the day, said farmers of the India cannot survive without MSP.
“Can farmers survive without MSP? The country knows farmers of India, farmer of Punjab and Haryana cannot survive without MSP,” he said.
Mr Gandhi also spoke about how mandis will be destroyed and said, “The Prime Minister says mandis are not needed. He says farmers can sell their produce anywhere. Mandis will be destroyed. Roads built linking mandis will be destroyed.”
“I know the system has its flaws. But the system cannot be destroyed. Make the system better,” he added.
The “Kheti Bachao Yatra” ( March to protect the agricultural sector) is aimed to highlight the Congress stand against the laws that were cleared by the parliament last month amid fiery protests by the opposition.
The BJP has said the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill are “historic reforms”.
The party has also blamed the Congress, claiming it is brainwashing farmers for their own interest.