New Delhi, Feb 11: In a sharp attack on the Government over ongoing farmers’ protest against the three new farm laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, said in the Lok Sabha that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was running the country on the policy of ‘Hum do, hamare do’,
Mr Gandhi did not name anyone instead added that everyone knows the names of four people who are running the country. His 25-minute speech came during the discussion on the Union Budget for 2021-22 in the Lok Sabha but was confined to the criticism of the three farm laws and the farmers’ protest which, he said, had become the agitation of the names.
His speech was repeatedly objected to by the members of the treasury benches and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi as well as his ministerial colleague Arjun Ram Meghwal who quoted rules to state that the discussion in the House was on general budget and the House had already passed Motion of Thanks on the President’s address. Speaker Om Birla also told Mr Gandhi that it would be better if he spoke on budget.
Continuing his tirade against the Modi government, Mr Gandhi said the government decisions taken by these two persons directly benefit their two industrialist friends and that is why they have brought ‘three anti-agricultural laws’.
‘There was a slogan for family planning ‘Hum do hamare do’. Nation is run by four people – ‘Hum do
hamare do’. Everyone knows their names,’ he said amid cheers by members of his party. He said the
the government should understand that the farmers’ movement is not just about the farmers but it is the movement of the whole nation and farmers were only leading the way. He demanded that the government withdraw the ‘three anti-farmer laws’.
‘The content of the first law is that one can have unlimited purchase of foodgrains, fruits and vegetables anywhere in the country. If the purchase is unlimited anywhere in the country, then who would go to Mandis? The content of the first law is to finish the mandis,’ he said.
‘The content of the second law is that big businessmen can store as much food grains, fruits and vegetables as they want. They can hoard as much as they want. Content of the second law is to end the Essential Commodities Act. It is to start unlimited hoarding in the country,’ he said.
‘The content of the third law is that when a farmer goes before the biggest businessman of the country to demand the right price for his produce, he will not be allowed to go to the court,’ the Congress member said. Mr Gandhi said the farm laws will not only destroy farmers but also have devastating effect on small shopkeepers, small businessmen and street vendors.
He said the farm laws will deal a massive blow to small and medium enterprise and in turn will “destroy’ the Indian economy.
“India will not be able to generate growth, generate jobs… all because the backbone of our nation will have been destroyed for the benefit of ‘Hum do, aur humaare do’,” the Congress leader charged as BJP members continued their loud protests.
Responding to the insistence of BJP members that he should adhere to the ongoing discussion on budget, Mr Gandhi said that agriculture was also part of the budget. He said that his speech was focussed on farm laws in protest against the government decision through the Speaker not to allow separate debate on the issue in the House.
Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s mention of the new laws offering options to the farmers, Mr Gandhi said the options were “ hunger, unemployment and poverty.’ He said that about 200 farmers had lost their lives in the ongoing agitation against the farm laws and along with his party members observed two-minutes silence as homage to them.
Speaker Om Birla observed that the House is run by the rules and standard procedures and the act by the Congress member was encroachment on his rights and privileges and there was no prior notice for it.
Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, who spoke after Mr Gandhi, hit out against him, saying tat the Congress leader could not speak on the budget as he had not come prepared. Slamming Mr Gandhi for deviating from budget discussion, Mr Thakur said the Congress leader was not present in the House during the budget discussion. “This is what happens when you are not in the House and in the country enough,’ he said.
Mr Thakur said there was no provision in the farm laws which said that mandis will be shut down. He criticized the Congress members for shooting their gun from the shoulders of the farmers. He said the Modi government had linked 1000 mandis last year with E-NAM.
“This year again, we are connecting 1000 Mandis with E-NAM. We have disbursed Rs. 1.14 lakh crore till now under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna,” he said.