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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Modi government treating farmers like 'enemies': Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge

Kharge's remarks come a day after farmer leaders Sarwan Singh Pandher and Jagjit Singh Dallewal gave a call to farmers across the nation to reach Delhi on March 6 for a protest

PTI New Delhi Published 04.03.24, 10:09 AM
Mallikarjun Kharge

Mallikarjun Kharge File picture

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday alleged that the Narendra Modi government was "anti-farmer" and treating farmers as "enemies" for demanding their rights.

His remarks come a day after farmer leaders Sarwan Singh Pandher and Jagjit Singh Dallewal gave a call to farmers across the nation to reach Delhi on March 6 for a protest. They also gave a four-hour countrywide 'rail roko' call for March 10 in support of their various demands, including a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops and farm debt waiver.

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They have asserted that the farmers' ongoing agitation will be intensified at the existing protest points and will continue till their demands are met by the government.

In a post in Hindi on X, Kharge alleged that in order to benefit its "select crony capitalist friends", the Modi government has consistently sacrificed the interests of farmers.

"When the farmer who provides food to the country wants to produce a bumper crop and export it, then the Modi government bans the export of wheat, rice, sugar, onion, pulses etc.," he claimed.

The BJP has done the same throughout its tenure, Kharge said and added that the result of this is that agricultural exports which increased by 153 per cent during the Congress-UPA rule increased only by 64 per cent during BJP's rule.

"Not only did the Modi government's guarantee of MSP and doubling income turn out to be fake, but the anti-farmer BJP left no stone unturned to break the backs of our 62 crore farmers," he alleged.

"Now when farmers are demanding their rights, the Modi government is treating them like enemies," Kharge said.

The protesting farmers have been staying put at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana after their "Delhi Chalo" march was stopped by security forces.

They began their march on February 13 but were stopped by security forces, which led to clashes at the border points.

Besides a legal guarantee on MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in the electricity tariff, a withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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