Where is democracy, whoever speaks against govt is dubbed anti-national, says Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi talking to journalists after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind on the Central Farm Laws, in New Delhi on December 24, 2020.

Where is democracy, whoever speaks against govt is dubbed anti-national, says Rahul

New Delhi, December 24, 2020

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday came down heavily on the Modi government over the three farm laws that thousands of farmers have been agitating against at the borders of the national capital for almost a month now.

Attempts to brand these farmers as anti-national, part of the extreme left or even egged on by terrorist movements like the Khalistan Front, are nothing new, the former Congress chief told the media, after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind along with party MPs Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

He slammed the Centre's stance since November 26, when the first batch of farmers from Haryana and Punjab landed at Singhu and Tikri on Delhi's borders, as "anti-farmers" and said that people who raise their voice against the Narendra Modi government have always been labelled "terrorists and anti-nationals".

"Democracy is a figment of imagination in this country. It only exists in our dreams," Gandhi said.

"We met the President and told him that these farm laws are anti-farmer in spirit. The country has seen that farmers have stood up against these laws and they will not relent," he added

He said to the government: "Make no mistake these farmers will not go back till their demands are met."

This was Rahul Gandhi's first major attack on the Centre over the farm laws after his early and initial tractor movement in Punjab right after the "black laws" were passed.

"We stand alongside our farmer brothers and sisters. We are opposing the three farm laws. The way in which these laws were passed without debating and without discussing them with farmers and labourers shows they were undemocratic in nature."

The Congress leaders also said that he met with the President with two crore signatures against the laws. "We have taken the voice of farmers to President. It is winter season and the entire country is watching that the farmers are in pain, many of them are dying and the Prime Minister has to listen to them," he said.

He said that no one can withstand the farmers' courage and agitation. "If the three farm laws are not repealed then it is not only the BJP or the RSS but the entire country will pay for it. Farmers, labourers are the backbone of this nation. By robbing them of their livelihood, this government is harming the entire nation. It is only aiding the crony capitalists which it keeps close by," Gandhi said.

"Modi and BJP have only one ambition and this is something that the farmers and the labourers have understoood. Modi is working for the three to four crony capitalist friends," he charged.

To a question that several BJP leaders have called the agitating farmers as anti-national, he replied, "When farmers stand against them they call them terrorists, when labourers stand against them, they call them terrorists. Whoever stands against Modi is described as a terrorist. Whoever speaks against the government is described as anti-national."

He further said that "it is very simple thing, there are millions of lives dependent on the agriculture sector".

"Lakhs of our population are depending on farmers, labourers, small traders. They are the backbone of the country. We understand reform is required, but when you bring laws without discussion you create massive unrest," he said.

"Why is the Prime Minister doing this because he wants to help two or three businessmen.

"He then will construct whatever narrative he has to create. He will call people terrorist, anti-national," he added.

Earlier, several of the Congress leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were detained and taken to Mandir Marg police station for violating Section 144 clamped in the New Delhi area in the backdrop of the Congress march from Vijay Chowk to Rashtrapati Bhawan.

IANS

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