Modi govt destroyed ‘jawan’, ‘kisan’: Congress president

Ludhiana: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Sunday hit out at the Modi government, accusing it of “destroying” ‘kisan’ and ‘jawan’ in the 10 years of its regime.

Extending his party’s support to farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ call, Kharge claimed that the central government has not issued any notification on repealing the three farm laws yet. In 2020, a large number of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, held a year-long protest on Delhi’s border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — against the three now-repealed farm laws. These laws were — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

Kharge was addressing the convention of Punjab Congress workers here ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

In his address, Kharge said former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s slogan, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” fits best in Punjab. He said the state is unique as it is only here that both ‘jawan’ and ‘kisan’ are found. He said that at some places there are ‘kisan’ but no ‘jawan’, and in some places there are ‘jawan’ but no ‘kisan’.

“But the Modi government destroyed both ‘jawan’ and ‘kisan’ in the last 10 years,” he alleged.

He said that farmers had protested at the Delhi borders against the farm laws. “But they (the Centre) suspended the three farm laws. They did not issue any notification of repealing it,” he claimed. “Where is the notification of repealing these laws?” he asked.

The Congress president accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of calling farmers’ names and describing them as “terrorists” and “andolan jeevis” (those who thrive on agitation) in a derogatory manner.

Referring to the farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ call on February 13, Kharge congratulated farmers for heading to the national capital for their rights and extended his party’s support to them. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had announced ‘Delhi Chalo’ march by more than 200 farmers’ unions on February 13 to press the Centre for accepting several demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Kharge alleged that Rs one lakh crore allocated for the agriculture sector had “lapsed” as the Modi government did not spend it on agriculture. He said Rs 40,000 crore allocated for the ‘Fasal Beema Yojana’ was “pocketed” by private insurance companies.

Besides, for the first time in independent India’s history, farmers were paying tax of Rs 25,000 per hectare, he claimed.

Kharge further alleged that the Modi government was not filling about 30 lakh vacancies in various government departments and public sector undertakings.

He alleged that Prime Minister Modi does not want the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes and the backward classes to get 50 per cent reservation in jobs.

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