Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Monday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not reach out to farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, who have been staging a protest against three farm laws for over two months along Delhi’s border.
Addressing a farmers rally at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, Pawar said, "Is Punjab in Pakistan? Why did the PM not talk to the protesting farmers of Punjab?"
"I congratulate you all that you have gathered here to express solidarity with the farmers of Punjab, Haryana Western UP and Rajasthan. They have built a historic protest. This battle is not easy. The ones who are in power today have no empathy towards this country's farmers and labourers. For the last 60 days, these farmers have not cared about rains, sun or cold while protesting in Delhi. But the Prime Minister has not even enquired about them," Pawar said.
"Who are these protesters? They are farmers from Punjab who have made tremendous contribution to the freedom struggle. They had given their lives at the Jallianwala Bagh. This is the farming community who held rifles to protect the country against China and Pakistan after our Independence. This is the farmer who feeds 120 crore people of this country," he said.
The veteran politician said that despite repeated suggestion by the opposition for sending all the three laws to a select committee, the government bulldozed its way in passing the legislation.
"People opposed the government's stand of not allowing any discussion on this. People will destroy you and your laws. And this is the beginning of it," he said.
State Minister and Congress president Balasaheb Thorat also lashed out at the central government said the Modi government worked for capitalists. “This is a ploy to snatch your land rights," he told the gathering.
Thousands of farmers have marched from Nashik to Mumbai to express their solidarity with the protesting farmers in Delhi.