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Congress to oppose Dec 21 Modi rally in Punjab

IANS | Last Updated: Friday, December 13, 2013 - 14:36

Chandigarh: The state unit of the Congress in Punjab said Friday it will oppose Bharatiya Janata Party`s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi`s rally in Jagraon town Dec 21.

In a statement here, a Congress party spokesman said that the party leadership will oppose Modi`s visit to the state, because his government shunted out Sikh and Punjabi farmers from the Kutch area in Gujarat.

"The Congress will hold a demonstration at his rally venue against his anti-Punjab and anti-farmer stance," the spokesman said.

Modi is scheduled to address a `Fateh Rally` in Jagraon town, 150 km from here, Dec 21.

The BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal are running an alliance government in Punjab since 2007.

"Modi is working against the interests of Sikh farmers and using all legal and illegal means to shunt out Sikh farmers from Kutch area of Gujarat, where the over 50,000 farmers from Punjab and Haryana had settled 60 years ago on an invitation by the first Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri...Sikh farmers were given land on lease, which they developed and cultivated from one generation to other," the Congress spokesman added.

He said that the Gujarat government had frozen the land holdings of farmers and was harassing them to an extent that local goons were issuing them threats to leave the place.

"The Gujarat High Court dismissed the Gujarat government orders to evict the farmers, but the Modi government filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court, seeking to reject the high court orders," the spokesman pointed out.

Congress leaders said that the Gujarat farmers met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal requesting help to them and to take up the issue of withdrawing SLP from the Supreme Court, but the Modi government has refused to do this.

They said that Modi was unwelcome in Punjab till the interests of the Punjab farmers were protected in Gujarat.

First Published: Friday, December 13, 2013 - 14:36

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