Farmers' row: Congress questions PM Modi's 'silence'

Congress questions 'silence' of PM Modi on ongoing farmers' protests

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the struggle and sacrifices of farmers will bring colour

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Credit: PTI

The Congress on Sunday questioned the "silence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the ongoing farmers' protests against the Centre's new farm laws and asked why he had not yet condoled the demise of 33 protesters.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the struggle and sacrifices of farmers will bring colour as he saluted those who died during the agitation.

"The struggle and sacrifice of the farmers will surely bring colour. Salutes and tributes to the peasant brothers and sisters," he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed said 33 farmers have lost their lives during the ongoing agitation and the agitating farmer unions are observing 'Shradhanjali Diwas' on Sunday. Congress is also observing the day.

"Why is our Pradhan Mantri quiet? Why is Shri Amit Shah quiet and why is Yogi Adityanath quiet? Why hasn't PM Modi said a single word? Why is our Prime Minister 'maun' (silent)? Our 'annadatas' are sitting at the Delhi border along with their wives and children in one of the coldest winters Delhi is experiencing but our Home minister Amit Shah has no time to see them but has time to go to Bengal," she told reporters.

She asked why he is not talking to 'annadatas' and alleged that the callousness of the government is on full display as lakhs of farmers are waiting for justice.

She alleged that the prime minister has time to visit religious places but has no time to condole the demise of farmers.

"Where is the empathy from the Pradhan Mantri? He can just go and visit them and console the families. I would urge the Pradhan Mantri to go out there and visit them. Instead of just going to religious places, which we understand is a good thing, he must go and visit them and console them and listen to them, give justice to these farmers and repeal these black laws and re-enact new laws in consultation with farmers, opposition parties and other stakeholders," the Congress leader said.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, UP and some other states are camping at Delhi's entry points, including Singhu and Tikri borders, for over three weeks, protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The Congress spokesperson also alleged the coverup, complicity and collusion of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh in the case of gangrape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras now stand exposed before the people of the country after the CBI filed a charge sheet.

In its charge sheet, the CBI said the woman was gang-raped and murdered, but PM Modi, Shah and Adityanath are quiet on the matter, she said.