Congress leader Rahul Gandhi kept up his attack on the Centre over the contentious farm laws on Tuesday, saying farmers and labourers would become the “slaves of a few corporates” if the measures were implemented. Addressing a rally in Pehowa in Kurukshetra district of Haryana on the concluding day of his ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’, Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of snatching away rights of farmers.
“Lakhs of people work at the mandis, where will they go if there are no mandis. Whether you want to believe it or not, do remember that Rahul once told you that your land will be snatched,” Gandhi told the gathering where a number of farmers were present.
Gandhi managed to reach his rally destinations of Pehowa and Pipli amid high drama at Haryana’s border with Punjab. After winding up his last rally at Sanaur in Patiala, Gandhi drove a tractor to reach Haryana border but the procession was stopped on the highway near Teokar village on Pehowa border for an hour. State authorities eventually allowed three tractors, including Gandhi’s, to pass.
Gandhi had shared a video of the Congress cavalcade at Haryana’s border on Twitter and said that he would patiently wait for permission to proceed. “They have stopped us on a bridge on the Haryana border. I’m not moving and am happy to wait here. 1 hours, 5 hours, 24 hours, 100 hours, 1000 hours or 5000 hours,” he tweeted.
On Haryana side, state Congress chief Kumari Selja, senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kiran Choudhary, Ajay Singh Yadav and party’s Haryana affairs in-charge Vivek Bansal accompanied Rahul for the rest of the rally in Haryana.
At the rally in Pehowa, Rahul said in one or two years the land of farmers would be taken over by a few “chosen” corporates. He said the loss was not just of farmers, farm labourers or small traders, but of the entire country.
“When your land goes, they will build malls and flats. We do not want such a thing to happen. The Congress will not allow this to happen. I can guarantee that we will not go back by an inch and we will carry on this fight. When our government will be formed, we will revoke these laws,” Gandhi said.
The Congress leader promised to roll back the laws if his party was voted to power. “The Congress will not allow this to happen. I can guarantee that we will not go back by an inch and we will carry on this fight. When our government will be formed, we will revoke these laws,” he said.
Meanwhile, security was tightened outside the house of deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala in Sirsa following a protest by two dozen farmer organisations seeking his resignation from the Manohar Lal Khattar government. Police fired tear gas to disperse the agitated mob.
Earlier in the day, winding up his last rally at Sanaur in Patiala, Punjab, Rahul Gandhi said “give me free press and other key institutions and this (Narendra Modi) government will not last long”. The Modi government has forcibly taken control of all the key institutions, Rahul alleged.
Rahul said he had come to Punjab because he felt a grave injustice was being done to the state by the Modi government, and he instinctively always stands with the weak and the suffering. “Perhaps that is why I get beaten up in politics,” he said.