Wayanad: After taking out a tractor rally in his constituency in solidarity with the agitating farmers, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said agriculture is the only business that belongs to "Bharat Mata" and called upon the people to "force" the government to take back three farm laws brought the BJP-led central government.
"The entire world can see the difficulties faced by Indian farmers. But the government in Delhi is unable to understand the pain of the farmers," Gandhi said addressing a meeting organised after the six-kilometre tractor rally between Thrikkaipatta to Muttil in this hill district.
"We have pop stars who are commenting on the situation of Indian farmers but the Indian government is not interested. They are not going to take back three laws unless they are forced," the Wayanad MP said.
He alleged that the three laws are designed to destroy the agriculture system in India and give the entire business to 2 to 3 friends of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Stating that agriculture is the biggest business in the country worth Rs 40 lakh crore and it is owned by millions and millions of Indians, the Congress leader said, "agriculture is the only business that belongs to Bharat Mata" and a few people want to own this business.
Rahul Gandhi takes dig at PM Modi for ridiculing MGNREGA
Congress leader also added that Narendra Modi, who "ridiculed" MGNREGA when he took over as Prime Minister in 2014, was "forced to accept" the fact that the ambitious rural job scheme brought in by the previous UPA government played the role of "saviour" of people of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gandhi noted that the demand for MGNREGA, which provides social protection for the most vulnerable people living in rural India by guaranteeing wage employment opportunities, "skyrocketed" during COVID.
The Wayanad MP said both SHGs and the MGNREGA were brought in by the UPA government not as a "gift" but as "tools for empowerment for making our people stronger."
He said when the MGNREGA was brought in to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work, lots of people questioned it asking why we are spoiling our people by giving charity.
Many claimed MGNREGA scheme was going to ruin the people but the same people are not saying anything while the government is "giving lakhs of crores of rupees to the big business" and "privatising huge public sector companies," Gandhi alleged.
He also said implementation of the MGNREGA scheme was the major reason for the "tremendous economic growth" during the UPA period.