It is the government’s role to look for the welfare of the poor, he says
“Narendra Modi is not the Prime Minister of the poor and the farmers,” charged Rashtriya Lok Dal president Chaudhary Ajit Singh while addressing a massing gathering of farmers in Bamnauli village of Baghpat on Saturday. “He is the Prime Minister of capitalists and corporates. He shows dreams but doesn’t care to fulfil them,” Mr. Singh said at the meeting called by the Desh Khap on the birth anniversary of Raja Sulakshpal Tomar.
Mr. Singh said the PM and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh had promised to make the pending payment to sugarcane farmers in the region but the sugar mills were not listening.
He said it was true that MSP (minimum support price) had not been touched in the farm laws, but in the last four years, Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) debt had increased by four times. Mr. Singh said it seemed the government had made the laws to help corporates instead of the FCI.
“It [the FCI] is on the verge of bankruptcy. How will it pay MSP?” he wondered. He pointed out that farmers in Bihar were suffering because they did not get the MSP. “The capitalists work for profit. It is the government’s role to look for the welfare of the poor,” he said.
If the farmer didn’t have money in his hand, the rural economy would flounder, Mr. Singh maintained. “If the government gives MSP to the farmer, it will create demand in the economy,” he said.
He said the new farm laws were against the interests of farmers and consumers as they allowed corporates to hoard as much as they wanted. “We are not against corporate farming. Sugarcane farming is also a kind of contract between farmers and mill owners but here the government also has a specific role to ensure that the interests of farmers are not violated. Do you think a farmer with two bigha land could stand up to the lawyers of the corporates?” he asked.
Continuing with his aggressive approach against the farm laws, Bharatiya Kisan Union national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait appealed to farmers to keep their tractors ready. “Keep one eye on your tractor and the other on Delhi,” he said.
“Private godowns were built first, the Bills came later. It shows the nexus between the capitalists and the government. I appeal to the government to acquire those godowns,” he charged.
This was the first time after the January 28 outburst that Mr. Tikait was addressing a gathering in western U.P. at which political leaders were also present. BKU sources played it down as a social event in honour of the Jat king Raja Tomar, and said it was technically not a kisan panchayat.
“Rakesh-ji addressed before political leaders from a separate stage erected for farmers,” said one of the organisers.
Mr. Tikait reiterated that the protest was a farmers’ movement and he would stand by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s decision to not share the stage with political parties.
Meanwhile, RLD vice president Jayant Chaudhary addressed a kisan panchayat in Mawana town of Meerut.
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