At Punjab rally, Rahul slams Centre over farm laws

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Centre on Sunday over the three new agriculture laws, asking why were the farmers agitating if these were meant for them.
Addressing a public meeting in Badhni Kalan in Punjab’s Moga district, Gandhi asserted that the contentious Acts would be revoked if the Congress was voted to power. He wondered what was the “hurry” and need to implement these legislations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The prime minister says the laws are being framed for farmers. If the laws are being made for farmers, then why didn’t you debate in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha?” Gandhi asked.
“And if farmers are happy with these laws, then why are they agitating across the country? Why is every farmer of Punjab agitating?” Farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre’s farm reforms would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big companies.
President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which were passed by the Parliament last month.
Earlier, Gandhi arrived in Moga for leading tractor rallies across the state from Sunday till Tuesday in protest against the laws.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, party’s Punjab incharge Harish Rawat and other leaders were present. Former minister and MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had been staying away from all Congress activities, was also seen at the public meeting.
The tractor rallies, which have been named as ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’, will cover more than 50 km over three days in various districts and constituencies.