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Rahul hits out at Modi govt over farmers' plight in Punjab

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said the Modi government did not accept Congress points on Land Bill which clearly speaks of their anti-farmer stand.

PTI| Updated: Nov 06, 2015, 16:50 PM IST
Rahul hits out at Modi govt over farmers' plight in Punjab

Bathinda: Taking on the Badal government and NDA at the Centre over the farm crisis in Punjab, Rahul Gandhi on Friday said industrialists are always given a "red carpet welcome" in the Modi government while farmers are met with "closed" doors by banks.

Winding up his two-day tour of Malwa belt of Punjab, the bastion of the Badal family, he said, "The Modi run NDA government did not accept Congress points on Land Bill which clearly speaks of their pro-industrialist and anti-farmer strategies."

"An industrialist is always given a red carpet welcome in Modi government while the farmer is met with closed doors by banks," he said.

Rahul said Congress had opposed the Land reform Bill on three points which include if work does not start in five years land shall be re-transferred to farmer and a social audit be necessary to assess the loss owing to it to farmers and farm labourers.

However, the Modi government did not accept these points. "This clearly spoke of their pro-industrialist and anti-farmer strategies," he said.

Farmers in Bathinda, the cotton belt of the state, have suffered huge losses due to whitefly attack on crop.

Punjab's farming sector has been witnessing fall in productivity with farmers reeling under debt. Cases of farmers committing suicide have also been on the upswing in the state.

Maintaining that Congress is the only solution to the farmers' problems, he said at Mallawala that the Modi and Badal governments are "anti-farmers and anti-labourers."

Referring to the problem of drugs in Punjab, Rahul said senior Akali leaders had made fun of him when he made a statement that 70 per cent population of the state was getting addicted to drugs.

"But now when the world has come to know and every one is saying the same, they have started agreeing to it," he said.

The biggest fight in Punjab now is to check addiction and the biggest solution to it starts with creating new avenues of employment for the young and educated youth of Punjab, he said.

"It can be done only when Congress comes to power in the state," Rahul said.

Earlier, before undertaking a three km 'padyatra' to Mallawala village, Rahul visited the house of Jagdev Singh (65), a farmer who committed suicide last month due to crop failure.