Cong backs Bharat Bandh, Rahul says new agriculture laws will 'enslave' farmers
New Delhi: Voicing support for the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer organisations to protest the farm bills, the Congress on Friday alleged that the new agriculture laws will "enslave" farmers and the MSP will be "snatched away" from them.
Various farmer groups have called for a nationwide shutdown on Friday against the three bills, which were passed by both houses of Parliament during the Monsoon session and await presidential assent.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Randeep Surjewala spoke out against the farm bills and backed the Bharat Bandh.
"A flawed GST destroyed MSMEs. The new agriculture laws will enslave our farmers," former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted with the hashtag 'I Support Bharat Bandh'.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi also hit out at the government, saying the three farm bills brought by it are reminiscent of the "East India Company rule".
The MSP (minimum support price) of the farmers will be "snatched away" and they will be forced to become slaves of billionaires through contract farming, Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
`"Neither will they get the price nor respect. Farmers will become labourers in their own land," she alleged.
"BJP's agriculture bills are a reminder of the East India Company rule. We will not allow this injustice to happen," she added, using the hashtag 'Bharat Bandh'.
Congress' chief spokesperson Surjewala said the party joins farmers in their struggle.
"Farmers are protesting with Bharat Bandh. Their livelihood is being snatched away and the Modi government has attacked their farms," he said in a video message.
"There is chaos everywhere. Modi ji swears by farmers, but stays true to his friendship with crony capitalist friends," Surjewala alleged.
The Congress and farmers will struggle together and will never allow the Modi government to "mortgage farmers and agriculture at the doorstep of crony capitalists", he said.
The three bills are the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The Congress along with many other opposition parties has claimed that they will harm the interest of farmers and benefit corporates, a claim denied by the government.
The Centre has asserted the bills will be beneficial for farmers and increase their income.