BJP’s rallying cry of ‘400 paar’ suggests desire to change Constitution: Congress

Jairam Ramesh attacked Modi just ahead of his rally in Maharashtra's Wardha and posed questions to him.

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday alleged the BJP’s “400 paar” rallying cry suggests a desire to change the Constitution and asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi truly honours Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy and the values he stood for.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh attacked Modi just ahead of his rally in Maharashtra’s Wardha and posed questions to him.

“Today’s questions for PM Modi as he heads to Wardha: What is the PM doing to prevent farmer suicides? Why has the BJP let down Adivasis in Forest Rights Act implementation? Where does the PM stand between Gandhi and Godse?” Ramesh said in a post on X.

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Elaborating on what he said were “jumla details”, the Congress leader said, “On an average day in Maharashtra, seven farmers take their own lives.”

“This heartbreaking statistic comes from the state’s Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation, who reported that 2,366 farmers died by suicide between January and October last year. The reasons are evident: 60 per cent of districts faced drought conditions last year but no help arrived from the government,” he alleged.

When crops were damaged by unseasonal rains in more than half of the state, farmers were extended loan waivers, but 6.56 lakh farmers were deprived of this relief due to software glitches, he said.

“In the face of this state-sponsored callousness, the Congress Nyay Patra has guaranteed farmers MSP as per the Swaminathan Committee’s recommendation, a farm loan waiver with a permanent commission set up to implement it smoothly, and settlement of all crop insurance claims within 30 days. What is the BJP’s vision to support Maharashtra’s and India’s farmers?” Ramesh said.

In 2006, the Congress passed the revolutionary Forest Rights Act (FRA) which granted Adivasis and forest-dwelling communities legal rights to manage their own forests, and economically benefit from the forest produce they collect, he said.

The BJP government, however, has obstructed the implementation of the FRA, depriving millions of Adivasis of its benefits, the Congress leaders alleged.

“Only 52 per cent (2,06,620 claims) of the 4,01,046 individual claims filed have been granted, and land titles distributed cover only 23.5 per cent (11,769 sq. km) of the 50,045 sq km eligible for community rights. Why has the BJP government in Maharashtra failed to provide Adivasi communities their rights?” Ramesh asked.

Noting that Wardha is the city where Mahatma Gandhi once lived, Ramesh alleged that the Mahatma’s ideals are under assault today, by leaders from the prime minister’s own party.

“Some of his leaders have abused and ridiculed the Mahatma and others have said they are unable to choose between Godse and Gandhi. The BJP’s rallying cry of ‘Ab ki Baar 400 paar’ suggests a desire to change the Constitution and get rid of sections that codify the ideals that the Mahatma espoused,” he alleged.

Does PM Modi truly honour Gandhi’s legacy and the values he stood for, Ramesh asked.

“Why are BJP leaders advocating for changing the Constitution? Where does he stand in choosing between Gandhi and Godse?” Ramesh said and asked Prime Minister Modi to break his “silence” on these issues.

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