Farmers’ protest: Rahul Gandhi promises law guaranteeing MSP

The party condemned BJP over the Union government and states led by its governments for stopping protesting farmers from marching to Delhi.

ByPTI

Published Feb 13, 2024 | 6:10 PMUpdatedFeb 13, 2024 | 6:13 PM

Congress

The Congress on Tuesday, 13 February, promised to fulfil their key demand of a law guaranteeing MSP for various crops once the INDIA bloc comes to power.

The promise came after the party condemned the BJP over the Union government and states led by its governments stopping protesting farmers from marching to Delhi.

Supporting the farmers’ agitation, the Opposition party asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to directly talk to them and provide justice.

Also Read: Madhya Pradesh police shift Karnataka farmers to Ujjain, keep them in detention

‘Legal guarantee of MSP’

“Farmer brothers, today is a historic day! Congress has decided to give a legal guarantee of MSP to every farmer on crops as per the Swaminathan Commission.

“This step will change the lives of 15 crore farmer families by ensuring their prosperity. This is the first guarantee of Congress on the path of justice. #KisaanNYAYGuarantee,” Rahul Gandhi said in a post in Hindi.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Modi government of crushing the voice of farmers after “failing” to fulfil the promises made to them over 10 years.

“If Congress comes to power at the Centre (after the Lok Sabha polls), it will ensure legal guarantee to MSP in the interest of farmers. It is our first guarantee,” Kharge said during Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in the Ambikapur district of Chhattisgarh.

Party general secretary Randeep Surjewala said the Congress supports the farmers’ agitation and questioned why authorities were resorting to “dictatorial” behaviour by putting up barricades and converting Delhi into a “police cantonment”.

Referring to the barricading and fortification of Delhi borders, he asked whether the Central government considered it as an attack from some enemy country.

He said the farmers were only demanding the implementation of the promises made to them two years ago during their earlier agitation like a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP) and waiving debts.

Also Read: Congress chief Kharge attacks Modi government for curbing voice of farmers

‘Just the beginning’

Surjewala warned that this was “just the beginning” of the stir as only farmers from Haryana and Punjab were participating right now and said soon farmers from across the country would join the agitation.

“Our only demand is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to the farmers and provide them ‘nyay’ (justice),” he said, adding that this is what Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi are fighting for.

The Congress leader asked whether the farmers did not have the right and freedom to come to the national capital in support of their demands.

“Where should the farmers go if not to the prime minister and the government of the time to seek justice for their rightful demands

“What is the government afraid of? Is there an attack on the government by an enemy?” he said.

Thousands of farmers were heading to Delhi on Tuesday from neighbouring states on a call by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha to press the Union government to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee MSP for crops.

Also Read: Nails, barbed wires, tear gas, concrete blocks around Delhi to stall farmers

Slams Union government

“Barbed wire, teargas from drones, nails and guns… everything is arranged. The dictatorial Modi government is trying to curb the voice of farmers,” the Congress chief said in a post on X.

“Remember how the farmer was defamed by calling him “andolanjeevi” and ‘parasite’ and 750 farmers lost their lives,” he said in his post in Hindi.

In 10 years, Kharge said, the Modi government has “broken” three promises of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, the implementation of the Swaminathan report and the grant of legal status to MSP.

Extending full support to the farmers’ movement, Kharge said the Congress will raise its voice for justice for farmers.

“We will not be afraid, will not bow down,” Kharge said in his post.

AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh said as part of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Rahul Gandhi today interacted with farmers at Ambikapur Mandi.

“It is most appropriate that he do so today, just as farmers — especially from Punjab and Haryana — have marched to New Delhi to protest the non-fulfilment of assurances given to them by the Prime Minister when he withdrew the three black farm laws in November 2021,” he said.

The methods that are being used by the Delhi Police and the Haryana Police “to harass the farmers and deter them from exercising their legitimate rights is most undemocratic and is a reflection of democracy, Modi-style”, he alleged.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)