Press Trust of india

Farmers rejected offer as they understood govt’s ‘mischief’; will provide justice to them: Cong

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New Delhi:  The Congress on Tuesday claimed that protesting farmers have rejected another “false offer” as they have understood the government’s “mischief” and asserted it is committed to providing legal guarantee of the MSP and take other necessary steps to provide justice to the tillers.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the legal guarantee for MSP will not make the Indian farmers a burden on the budget but ensure they become the drivers of GDP growth.

He claimed that “lies” are being spread that the MSP guarantee is not feasible under the government’s budget.

In a post in Hindi on X, Gandhi claimed that ever since the Congress resolved to provide legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP), “Modi’s propaganda machinery and media friendly to him have spread a barrage of lies on MSP”.

“Lie — It is not feasible to provide legal guarantee for MSP in the budget of the government of India. Fact — According to CRISIL, giving MSP to farmers in 2022-23 would have resulted in an additional burden of Rs 21,000 crore on the government, which is only 0.4 per cent of the total budget,” Gandhi said in his post.

In a country where bank loans worth Rs 14 lakh crore have been waived and corporate tax exemption of Rs 1.8 lakh crore given, why is even a little expenditure on farmers irking them, he asked escalating his attack on the ruling dispensation.

With the legal guarantee for MSP, investment in agriculture will increase, the demand will increase in rural India and the farmers will also get confidence in growing different types of crops, which is a guarantee of the country’s prosperity, Gandhi argued.

“Those who are spreading confusion on MSP are insulting Dr Swaminathan and his dreams,” the former Congress chief said.

The legal guarantee for MSP will not make the Indian farmers a burden on the budget but ensure they become drivers of GDP growth, Gandhi asserted.

He also tagged a video clip of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a BJP event talking about the party’s resolve to provide the rate to farmers for their crops based on the Swaminathan formula.

Gandhi’s remarks come a day after the farmer leaders taking part in the “Delhi Chalo” agitation rejected the Centre’s proposal of procuring pulses, maize and cotton at MSP by government agencies for five years, saying it was not in the farmers’ interest and announced that they would march towards the national capital on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh in a post on X slammed a section of the media for dubbing the protesting farmers as “traitors, naxalites and Khalistanis”.

Ramesh claimed the handles or accounts on social media that favour the farmers, labourers and tribals were being “blocked” by the government.

“And the BJP says that it wants to talk to farmers? Farmers have understood the mischief and cunningness of the Modi government. Its intentions are doubtful and hence another false offer has been rejected,” Ramesh said.

“Farmer movements are currently going on in many countries. But till now no elected government has throttled ‘democracy’ like this,” the Congress general secretary said.

Ramesh further said the “injustice being done to the farmers will end soon”.

“The Congress party is committed to implementing the guarantee of MSP given by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge ji and Rahul Gandhi as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission,” he said.

“Along with this, we will also take other necessary steps, including loan waiver, to provide the farmers the right to justice,” added Ramesh.

The protesting farmers have been staying put at the Shambhu and the Khanauri points on Punjab’s border with Haryana after their “Delhi Chalo” march to press the Centre for various demands, including a legal guarantee for MSP for crops, was stopped by the security forces that led to clashes last week.

Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act – 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

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