Bhawanigarh (Punjab) [India], October 5 (ANI): The Centre is doing to India what the East India Company of the British had done, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said during 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' in Punjab's Bhawanigarh.
Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to destroy the Mandi and MSP system, which was the strength of India's agriculture sector, Rahul said, "If the BJP-led Union Government succeeds in breaking the backbone of the farmers, the entire nation will be enslaved by industrialists like Ambani and Adani. The Modi government is doing to India what the East India Company of the British did."
He said that what people buy now for Rs 10 will cost them Rs 50 under the corporate regime, and the money will go not to the farmers or labourers but into the pockets of the corporate houses.
Rahul further warned that Ambanis and Adanis will not use labour but would deploy machines to undertake the farm sector operations, rendering lakhs of people jobless.
"The farmers will be forced to deal with these industrialists under the new system, and even the administration and police of the state will not be able to help them," he added.
The central government's assault on farmers would lead to the ruin of the entire nation, Rahul earlier warned, addressing a rally at Barnala Chow at Sangrur at the start of the tractor rally, which was scheduled to travel through Bhawanigarh, Fatehgarh Chhana, Bahmna, to culminate with another rally at the Grain Market in Samana in District Patiala.
"Once these industrialists take control of food, every household will have to pay 3-fold for the produce, leading to devastation and suffering for the entire nation. Not only will the farmers lose their land and livelihood, but others associated with the Mandis and the food procurement chain will also be rendered jobless," Rahul said.
He said the need of the hour was to strengthen the existing system, and to correct the flaws in it, rather than to destroy it, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to be bent on doing. Modi is only clearing the ground for his industrialist friends to take over, he said.
Rahul lashed out at the BJP-led government for trying to finish agriculture after failing to generate the promised employment.
"It is not Ambani and Adani who create jobs but small businesses and MSMEs, which Modi has been ruining with his ill-conceived moves like demonetisation, GST," he added.
Pointing out that for six years Modi had been attacking the poor with his policies, Rahul said with demonetisation the common people's hard-earned money was diverted through the banks to big industrialists, and with GST he has ruined the SMEs and small traders.
"Even the Covid crisis has been used by the Prime Minister to help out his capitalist friends, whose loans and taxes he has waived off," he added. (ANI)