Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday attacked Rahul Gandhi for his demand to scrap the three new farm laws and said the Congress leader should not try to create an atmosphere of anarchy in the country by misleading farmers. Earlier in the day, Gandhi drove a tractor to Parliament along with other party MPs and demanded that the three contentious farm laws be repealed.
About Gandhi’s tractor ride, Tomar said the Congress leader neither has any experience of rural India nor has concern for the poor and the farmers. Referring to the Congress party’s election manifesto of bringing similar farm reforms, Tomar asked Gandhi, a former Congress President, to tell whether Congress was lying in the manifesto or lying “now".
“I want to tell Rahul Gandhi that he should not try to mislead farmers and create an atmosphere of anarchy in the country. Because of such habits and shallow understanding, he is not even a unanimous leader in Congress," the minister said. On the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi borders since late November of 2020, Tomar said the unions do not have any proposal and that is why they are not coming forward for discussions with the government.
The minister reiterated that the government was always open to talks with the protesting farmers. Several farmer unions are protesting against the three farm laws passed by Parliament last September saying the legislations were against the interest of the farming community. They are insisting on repealing the laws. On the other hand, the government has ruled out repealing the laws but is ready to address their objections to provisions in the laws.
In January this year, the Supreme Court suspended implementation of the three farm laws. Tomar also highlighted that the Modi government has done a lot of work for the benefit of farmers in the last seven years.
Congress leaders said that Gandhi’s tractor ride to Parliament was aimed at highlighting the cause of farmers and extending their support to them. “These laws are aimed at helping only two-three industrialists. The entire country knows for whom these laws have been brought. These laws are not for the benefit of farmers and that is why they have to be withdrawn," Gandhi told reporters.