Protesting farmers fighting for country, just like soldiers do on borders: Rahul

Gandhi was referring to the 'Delhi Chalo' protest march by farmers to put pressure on the Centre for their demands

Aurangabad: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday came out in support of the protesting farmers, likening the cultivators to soldiers who fight on the country’s borders to protect it.

Gandhi was referring to the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march by farmers to put pressure on the Centre for their demands, including a law on minimum support price for crops and loan waivers.

Addressing a rally in Aurangabad district of Bihar, where his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ resumed after a day’s break, he also recounted waiver of farmers’ loans by the previous UPA regime led by the Congress, while accusing the Narendra Modi government of working only for the rich.

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“Farmers protesting in Delhi are being fired upon with tear gas shells and pellets. One such farmer, whose face had been disfigured by rubber bullets, met me. I said you are doing nothing wrong. You are fighting for the country, just like the soldiers do on the borders,” he asserted.

The Union government has “waived loans of the super-rich worth Rs 14 lakh crore. Compare this with only Rs 70,000 crore it agrees to spend for MGNREGA, a scheme meant for the rural poor”, said Gandhi.

“To divert attention, (PM) Modi has built a team in which the super-rich and the media have colluded with him. You see only reports of either Modi and his cohorts or banalities about Bollywood and cricket celebrities. Not surprisingly, at the much-touted Ram temple pran pratishta’ ceremony, you saw only bigwigs but not one farmer, one labourer, one ordinary person,” the Congress MP alleged.

He added that his party, if voted to power, intends to give legal guarantee for minimum support price, a key demand of the farmers.

“Our detractors may mock our promise. But, we do what we say. We showed it when during the UPA rule we waived farmers’ loans worth more than Rs 70,000 crore,” Gandhi said.

Reiterating the Congress’ commitment to conducting a caste survey that he called “an X-ray of the society”, he also said “we intend to follow it up with a financial survey that would bring to light which segment of the society controls what proportion of resources”.

It would be a “revolutionary move”, the implication of which could be “as profound as the green revolution and the computer revolution”, Gandhi claimed.

While the former Congress president chose not to comment on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s abrupt exit from the opposition INDIA bloc, AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge, who spoke before Gandhi, took potshots at the JD(U) president.

“The old adage Aya Ram Gaya Ram’ seems to have been replaced with Aya Kumar Gaya Kumar'”, quipped Kharge, referring to the frequent flip flops by the Bihar CM, even as he praised Congress legislators for resisting alleged bids to engineer a split by the NDA ahead of the trust vote it won in the state assembly earlier this week.

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