Congress reassures support to farmers; mocks BJP during widespread protests
In the presence of prominent opposition leaders, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday pledged the entire opposition's solidarity with farmers and declared that "farm loans will be waived off even if it required changing the Prime Minister".
"We all are with you. Be it changing laws or changing the Prime Minister, we will do everything that is required to ensure your loans are waived off. If any government insults the farmers, then it has to be uprooted and that is going to happen," Gandhi said.
Led by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), thousands of farmers reached Parliament Street in the heart of the city demanding a special session of Parliament to clear bills to waive off farm loans and a guarantee for remunerative prices for farm commodities based on the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission.
Addressing the rally, Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had turned out to be the voice of only his "industrialist cronies".
"When 3.5 lakh crore of loans of the biggest industrialists of the nation can be waived off by the Modi government, then the loans of millions of farmers will also have to be waived off," thundered Gandhi.
A host of opposition leaders including Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference's Farooq Abdullah, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Trinamool Congress' Dinesh Trivedi and Loktantrik Janata Dal's Sharad Yadav participated in the rally and extended their support to the farmers.
"All the leaders present here have a different political ideology, but when it comes to the farmers and youths, we all stand united.
"The voice that is reverberating now across the country is of the farmers who are in deep distress and crisis.
Gandhi attacked Modi for crony capitalism, particularity in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France.
Sharad Yadav held the Modi government responsible for "over three lakh farmer suicides" in the country in the last four and a half years. He called upon the people to dethrone the "anti-farmer government" led by Modi.
Flaying the BJP government for the acute agrarian crisis in the country, Yechury likened Modi to a "pocketmaar" (pickpocket) and accused him of "looting the poor".
(With inputs from agencies.)