Congress leader Rahul Gandhi led a rally of over 100 tractors on Monday accompanied by thousands of farmers and labourers to protest against the new farm laws and demanded the Kerala government write to the Centre to lift the buffer zone in his Wayanad constituency.
Rahul was seen at the wheel of a tractor and seated on his left and right were local Congress legislators I.C. Balakrishnan and AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal.
While armed guards was seen running in front of Rahul’s tractor, other tractors and farmers were seen behind him and en route the nearly six-km drive there was a huge crowd of people lined up and waving at him.
The rally began from Thrikayipatu and ended at Muttiil, where there was a huge gathering to hear him, as he denounced the three “anti-farmer laws” and how this would destroy the farmers in the country.
“The entire world is seeing the troubles of the Indian farmers, but the government in Delhi is not seeing it. Likewise we even have popstars who speak for our farmers, but the Indian government is silent. But we are determined that we will fight against these laws which will be detrimental to 40 per cent of India’s population – the farmers,” he said.
He said “Agriculture is only the business of Bharat Mata and these three new laws are designed for a few friends of Modi, who using these laws will take over the agriculture sector in the country, leaving the farmers in deep trouble,” said Rahul.
He said “two people in government and two outside are going to be the biggest beneficiaries of these laws. The farmers will not be able to get the price they wish as it would be these people who will determine the price and the laws will allow them to stock and buy as many products as they want. And when the farmers return to buy their products, these ‘people’ will be determining the selling price, which would be very high. Then comes the law that farmers will not be able to seek legal redress.”
Taking on the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala, he said he was shocked to hear the reply from the central minister in the Lok Sabha when he raised the move of converting Wayanad into a buffer zone and if made applicable, would see one-third of his constituency turn uninhabitable.
Earlier in the day he unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at St Joseph’s School, Meppadi where he said the actions of the Mahatma are hugely respected for the ideas he defended.
“There is a similarity between Mahatma and Jesus Christ as both of them fought on the principle of non-violence and both of them sacrificed their lives for the people. The Mahatma took guidance from Christ,” said Rahul.
He will arrive in the state capital on Tuesday to take part in a Congress rally, which is billed as the launch of the election campaign of the Congress-led UDF for the upcoming Assembly polls.