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Cong Flays Govt for 'Apathy' Towards Protesting Farmers

Protesting farmers listen to speeches during their agitation against the new farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi. (PTI)

Protesting farmers listen to speeches during their agitation against the new farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi. (PTI)

The Congress spokesperson alleged that Adani Agri Logistics Limited (AALL) was awarded an exclusive service agreement with the Food Corporation of India for storage of foodgrains, while the FCI had not even started lifting rice stocks yet in Chhatisgarh.

Even as farmers continued to protest on the Delhi borders for the 39th day on Sunday, the Congress acccused the Union government of showing "apathy" towards 'annadatas' braving cold and rain to save their dignity.

"The one word the BJP-led government has justified in the last 39 days is 'apathy'. One one hand, there is complete lack of sensitivity towards the plight of protesting farmers and their demands and, on the other hand, close friends of this government are receiving complete empathy and blessings for expanding their dominance in all spheres of business," Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh told the media here.

He said that while farmers received only false promises after their protest, friends of this government were getting contracts after contracts to fill their pockets. "It is a matter of serious concern as all this is happening as farmers continue to protest," he added.

The Congress spokesperson alleged that Adani Agri Logistics Limited (AALL) was awarded an exclusive service agreement with the Food Corporation of India for storage of foodgrains, while the FCI had not even started lifting rice stocks yet in Chhatisgarh.

He claimed that despite a pre-intimation by the central agency to procure 60 lakh metric tonnes of rice under the central pool for the kharif season, Chhattisgarh has not received the final consent yet.

"The Chhattisgarh government started procurement on December 1, and has procured 47 lakh tonnes from 12 lakh farmers so far. But the state is yet to receive consent from the government of India, despite several requests on phone. This will impact close to 21.52 lakh farmers," Vallabh added.

"If the government is not willing to procure the volumes pre-intimated by them, even when the protests are going on, what should we expect from the government once all this settles down?"

Vallabh claimed that people are now realising that the Centre is only interested in filling the pockets of "suited-booted friends" and not procuring grains from states where its friends do not have any presence.

"Has the FCI halted procurement in Chhattisgarh just because the central government's suited-booted friends are not involved in managing storage in that state? Will the procurement start only when the Centre's friends get control of storage? Are farmers paying the price for protesting against the farm laws? What about the false promise that the government procurement of foodgrains will continue?"

The Congress leader also wondered why the Union government was in such a rush to award majority of foodgrain storage to its "friends who have suddenly emerged as leaders in storage ever since the BJP government has come to power."


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