Congress leader Rahul Gandhi drives a tractor during the party’s ‘Kheti Bachao’ tractor rally against the farm laws, at Sanaur in Patiala district on Tuesday. (PTI)
THE three-day Punjab ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’ of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh culminated on Tuesday at the border along Haryana, with a vow by the two leaders to not budge even an inch from their principled stand in support of the farmers, who were “under attack by the Centre’s draconian farm laws”.
After confrontation and heated arguments between Congress leaders and the police on the interstate border, Rahul along with activists were allowed to enter Haryana where they were received by Haryana leaders, comprising former Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda and State party chief Kumari Selja. A day earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the State Government didn’t have any reservation “if Rahul holds tractor rallies and road shows in Haryana, but he would enter the state without crowd”. Before entering Haryana for a one-day tour, at a public rally at Francewala village near Sanaur in Patiala district, the final point of the tractor rally of the Congress leaders, including AICC General Secretary Harish Rawat and State party President Sunil Jakhar, Rahul lashed out at the BJP-led Government at the Centre for inflicting atrocities upon atrocities on the people of all sections in the past six years.
The poor have become poorer and the rich are getting richer, he said, slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi of serving the interests of corporate houses at the cost of those of small businessmen, farmers, arhtiyas and farm labourer. “But the farmers would die rather than bow their heads before these unjust and barbaric laws,” said Rahul, adding that the ‘mandi’ and procurement system, which the farm laws would destroy, was the protective shield for the farming community.
These laws would make farmers bonded labourers in the hands of the corporates, said Rahul, calling upon the farmers to act so that they do not have to repent later. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, in his address, said the regions of Dakala and Sanaur have always stood by his family and the Congress party, and the people of these areas were now standing rock solid behind the party on the issue of the ‘black’ farm laws. Castigating the BJP Government, the Chief Minister said that farmers all over the country have risen up against the Modi regime and warned that “these oppressors will be decimated in the next elections.” AICC General Secretary and in-charge Punjab Affairs, Harish Rawat, thanked Rahul for coming to Punjab in support of the farmers in their hour of crisis.
Equating Modi with the British, he said just as the atrocities of the British empire failed to dampen the spirit of the Gandhi family, Modi also would not be able to do so. Calling Rahul the future of the country, Rawat said that only he could give a befitting response to the Modi Government. Pledging to stand with the farmers, Patiala MP Preneet Kaur said the Chief Minister has not left any stone unturned in fighting for the rights of the farmers. She further said Rahul Gandhi had always stood for championing the cause of all the sections of society.