Opposition leaders today mounted their attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over the prevailing agrarian crisis in the country, as a sea of farmers descended on Parliament Street with a clutch of demands. Lending his support to the kisan rally,
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said, “Farmers not seeking gift from govt on farm loan waiver, they are asking for what’s due to them.” Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal issued a warning to the BJP government and said, “Modi govt should implement Swaminathan panel report soon, otherwise farmers will wreak havoc in 2019 polls.”
Thousands of farmers from across India marched to Parliament from Ramlila Maidan, demanding an end to the agrarian crisis in the country as well as a special sitting to discuss the situation. Farmers, who have banded together under All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), had gathered in New Delhi on Thursday.
The AIKSCC claims that the rally is “one of the largest congregations of farmers” in the national capital in recent times. Police have made elaborate arrangements for the rally, with at least 3,500 personnel deployed along the route.
Rahul Gandhi pledged the opposition’s unstinted support to farmers, nudging them to continue their protests to seek a better life for themselves. “I want to assure you we are with you,” Gandhi told the tens of thousands of farmers who had marched to Jantar Mantar earlier in the day, underscoring that he wasn’t just speaking for the Congress on this point, but opposition parties across the spectrum.
“When Modiji can waive off Rs 3.5 lakh crores of 15 rich people of the country why can’t he do it for farmers”, he added.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav, CPM’s Sitaram Yechuri and Dinesh Trivedi of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, have also joined the protest.
The protesters, many of them waving red, yellow and green flags and banners representing their organisations, also want the passage of two farmer-oriented private member’s bills endorsed by 21 Opposition parties in the Parliament.