Bhubaneswar: On a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of creating roadblocks in governance, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a jibe at the government for its “anti-farmer policies”, asking “where are the ‘achhe din’ for farmers.”
“Farmers and labourers had reposed faith in Modi-ji, who assured of ushering in ‘achhe din’ (good days). But after becoming the prime minister, he forgot them in just two days. Where are the ‘achhe din’ for farmers?” Gandhi said while addressing a farmers’ rally in Bargarh district of Odisha.
“The country is not of the corporate houses and a handful of people. It belongs to you. I promise that I and my party will fight for the cause of farmers and downtrodden,” the Congress vice president said.
He said the Modi government had tried to snatch land from poor farmers.
“Land is important for the farmers. Hence, we brought the land acquisition bill with the provision that land be acquired after proper consent of farmers along with adequate compensation. But the Modi government is trying to grab the land of farmers for corporate houses without the consent and knowledge of peasants,” Rahul said.
The Congress leader said that even though people had elected 44 Congress MPs in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, all harboured sympathy for the farmers and would fight to protect their interests.
Taking a dig at the NDA government for trying to dilute the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, the Congress vice president said it repeatedly tried to change the law but remained unsuccessful due to public pressure.
When he asked his audience if they had received any money as promised during the 2014 election campaign – money stashed abroad would be brought back to the country and Rs.15 lakh deposited in each bank account – the gathering responded with a big no.
He also flayed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for “compromising” with Modi on various issues.
“Modi-ji and Naveen-ji have become friends and entered into a compromise. There are several issues like chit fund, irrigation, bonus and minimum support price for paddy, but neither the chief minister nor the prime minister speak about these. They maintain a stoic silence,” Rahul said.
The Congress leader said that even though Odisha had received maximum funds, the money did not reach the poor but was pocketed by influential persons, including ministers and capitalists.
“They have looted your forests and mines. We will fight for your cause,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi visited the house of farmer Anand Kathara, who allegedly committed suicide in June, at Deybahal village in Bargarh district of the state.
Rahul Gandhi also led ‘padyatras’ at several places in Atabira block.