Lucknow: Likening Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the character of an arrogant king, ahankari raja, from stories of yore, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday said he is unable to understand that the ‘jawan’ who has kept the country safe is also the son of a farmer.
Addressing a “kisan mahapanchayat” attended by thousands of people in Muzaffarnagar, the Congress leader attacked the prime minister on a range of issues, including the price of diesel, and alleged that he did not listen to farmers demanding a rollback of the agri laws because his politics were aimed only at himself and his billionaire friends.
She said the arrogant king from old stories would confine himself to his palace as his rule expanded.
“People started feeling afraid of telling the truth in front of him they would be grovelling. It seems our prime minister has also become an arrogant king of that type.”
“He is unable to understand that the jawan who has kept this country safe is a son of a farmer,” she told the gathering.
New farm laws
Launching a scathing attack against the prime minister, Priyanka Gandhi said government ‘mandis’ and the minimum support price (MSP) system would come to an end with the new farm laws.
“Your rights will also end. The way in which he has sold the entire country to his two-three friends, in the same way he wants to sell you, your land, and earnings to his billionaire friends,” she alleged.
In 2018, Priyanka Gandhi said the cost of diesel was Rs 60 and today it is Rs 80 somewhere and Rs 90 elsewhere.
“The electricity bill has increased, the price of the gas cylinder keeps on increasing, but you are not getting the price for your sugarcane. It is at the same place,” she said.
“The BJP government earned Rs 3.5 lakh crore by imposing tax on diesel last year. I want to ask where the money has gone. Why has the person who works day and night for the country, and irrigates it with his blood and sweat not got this money?” she asked.
The Congress leader said there was nobody to listen to the farmer who is being harassed.
Referring to the ongoing farmer protests against the agri laws at various Delhi border points, she said “The Delhi border is five-six kilometres away from the residence of Narendra Modi-ji. And the prime minister, who can go to the United States, China and Pakistan, and tour the entire world he could not go to the lakhs of farmers, nor wipe their tears, nor listen to their views. Why? Because his politics are only for himself and his billionaire and capitalist friends.”
Priyanka Gandhi told the gathering they would be surprised to see how much ‘one or two billionaire friends’ had earned at a time the entire country is groaning and payments have not been made.
“Crores were earned, and you are sitting on roads, fighting for your rights and agitating, and no one is there to listen to you,” she said.
Elaborating on the farm laws, the Congress general secretary said the prime minister maintained the laws were made for the farmers.
“So can they say, which farmer has made it, which farmer was consulted. And if the farmers of the entire country are saying that Pradhan Mantriji, we do not need these laws, then why these laws are not withdrawn, why are they not scrapped?” Priyanka Gandhi asked.
Later, in a Hindi tweet, she said, “Participated in a kisan panchayat at Baghra in Muzaffarnagar. Farmer is the heart of the country. They keep the country alive. Farmers have self-respect. Will stay with the farmers in this fight and will not betray them.”
Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, since November 28, demanding a complete repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops.
The government has denied allegations that it was trying to put an end to the MSP and the mandi system. Modi has also assured farmers that the MSP would continue.