Bharat Bandh: Rahul Gandhi voices support for farmers, slams govt as ‘exploitative’

Several non-NDA parties have extended support to the nationwide 10-hour strike

Bharat Bandh: Rahul Gandhi voices support for farmers, slams govt as ‘exploitative’

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. PTI file

New Delhi, September 27

Expressing support for protesting farmers, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the farmers’ non-violent ‘satyagraha’ is still resolute but the “exploitative” government does not like this and that is why a ‘Bharat Bandh’ has been called.

The Congress has asked its workers, state unit chiefs and heads of frontal organisations to take part in the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmer unions to protest against the Centre’s three agri laws.

Many non-NDA parties have extended support to the nationwide 10-hour strike on Monday called by farmers protesting against the three agri laws under the aegis of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).

Posting rhyming lines in Hindi on Twitter, Gandhi said, “Kisano ka ahimsak satyagraha aaj bhi akhand hai, lekin shoshankar sarkar ko ye nahi pasand hai, isliye aaj Bharat Bandh hai (Farmers’ non-violent satyagraha is resolute even today, but the exploitative government does not like this and that’s why it is Bharat Bandh today).”      Gandhi used the hashtag ‘IStandWithFarmers’ with his tweet.

The SKM on Sunday had appealed for complete peace during the Bandh and urged all Indians to join the strike.

The government and farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks so far, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock and end the farmers’ protest.

Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.

The three laws—The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 -- were passed by Parliament in September last year.

Farmer groups have alleged that these laws will end the ‘mandi’ and the MSP procurement systems and leave the farmers at the mercy of big corporates, even as the government has rejected these apprehensions as misplaced and asserted that these steps will help increase farmers’ income. PTI

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