Corporates will grab Rs 80 lakh cr agribusiness: Rahul on farm laws (Ld)

Sibsagar, Feb 14 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday claimed that the three new central farm laws will help corporates and rich people grab agribusiness worth Rs 80 lakh crore in India.

Addressing an impressive public gathering in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar, Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said nothing about the farmers’ interests in the Parliament despite the fact that they have been agitating for nearly three months now.

“The BJP-led central government has already ruined the Indian economy and the people across the country by introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation, and now it is trying to further dent the rural economy by these three laws,” he said.

Kick-starting the party’s campaign for the 2021 Assembly elections in Assam, the Congress leader said that India should not be “remote-controlled” from Nagpur.

“Every asset of the country is being sold for the interest of very few people,” he alleged.

He claimed that only Rs 167 was given to tea garden workers (as wages) but the entire tea garden was being handed over to Gujarat businessmen. “If the Congress returns to power, we will give Rs 365 as daily wages to tea garden workers.”

The Congress leader also promised that the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act would not be implemented in Assam or any part of the country at any cost.

Suggesting resolving the infiltration problem amicably and through dialogue, Gandhi said that if violence engulfed Assam, it would affect the entire country.

“Assam is a beautiful flower of India. For India, Assam’s unity and development are necessary, and for Assam, India’s growth is essential. The Congress brought the Assam Accord and established peace. The Congress will at any cost protect the historic Assam Accord.”

Gandhi along with all the senior leaders on the dais wore a ‘gamocha’ (Assamese scarf) on which symbolically the word CAA was crossed out.

He said: “Listen ‘hum do humare do’, we will never allow CAA to be implemented and so I am wearing this scarf which has crossed out the CAA written on it.”

The Congress leader sensing the opposition of CAA and the faulty NRC by the people of Assam tried to evoke the right chord in the state.

At the rally, Gandhi was flanked by local Congress leaders such as Akhil Gogoi and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel.

Criticising announcement of Padma Bhushan award posthumously to former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on the eve of 72nd Republic Day, Gandhi said that the award was also given to an official in the Prime Minister’s office.

“When Gogoi built Assam, united people, sacrificed his entire life for the cause of Assam and its people, he was equated with a bureaucrat posted in the PM’s Office,” he said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who is one of the central observers for Assam, in his speech said that the Congress built the country, constructed airports, oil-based industries and other undertakings, but the BJP was selling all these iconic establishments.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Ripun Bora said that with the signing of the historic Assam Accord at the instance of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, long-lasting peace was established in Assam.

“From the flood havoc to terrorism, Congress leadership from Rajiv Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi have been always concerned with any issue related to Assam and they rush to the state in case of any crisis and problems,” Bora said.

Congress Legislature party leader Debabrata Saikia alleged that the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma are the “agents of Gujarat and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”.

Lok Sabha MP and Congress Campaign Committee Chairman Pradyut Bordoloi, AICC General Secretary and party’s Assam affairs incharge Jitendra Singh, Congress Manifesto Committee Chairman and MP Gaurav Gogoi were also present on the occasion.

Elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly are likely to be held along with polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry in April-May 2021.

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