Addressing a gathering on the concluding day of his “Kheti Bachao Yatra” which started in Moga district on Sunday, Gandhi said that if these measures are implemented, farmers and labourers will become the “slaves” of a few corporates.
He claimed at the gathering that in one or two years, their land would be taken over by these few “chosen” corporates.
“Whether you want to believe it or not, do remember that Rahul and Amarinder Singh once told you that your land will be snatched,” he said at the gathering where a number of farmers were present along with their tractors.
“This is the time to take action. If you wait for six months or one year, then it will be of no use,” he told them.
The former Congress president said that the loss was not just of farmers, farm labourers and small traders, but that of the entire country.
Gandhi said that if farmers are hit, which he claimed will become a reality with the implementation of the new laws, then India’s food security will be finished. “And if that happens, the entire country will once again become a slave,” he said.
“This fight is not just of farmers and labourers, it is India’s fight,” Gandhi said.
He told that farmers that corporates will dictate the terms and they will have to accept the price that they want to give.
“When your land goes, they will build malls and flats. We do not want such a thing to happen. The Congress will not allow this to happen. I can guarantee that we will not go back by an inch and we will carry on this fight. When our government will be formed, we will revoke these laws,” Gandhi said.
Attacking the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, Gandhi said that for six years, this dispensation did nothing for the poor, weaker sections, farmers and small shopkeepers.
He again questioned the government for bringing in the laws amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“What was the hurry? Why not bring them six months or one year later,” he asked, and added that they did so because the BJP-led government thought that during Covid, the farmers of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan cannot unite.
“But he (PM) does not know that farmers are strong and will fight against these laws,” he said.
The Congress leader also asked that if these laws were in favour of farmers, then why did the government not debate them in Parliament.
Gandhi said that MSP, Food Corporation of India and the mandi system are there to protect farmers, and this entire structure gives them security, but the Centre wants to break it.
The food distribution system and mandi system are like a fort which protects farmers, he said, adding he agreed there are a few shortcomings in the present system, but those need to be corrected, and breaking an entire system like the Centre was doing was not the right way to go about it.
‘Sikhs protected my family in 1977’
Addressing the media later, Gandhi recalled a childhood memory of how a handful of Sikhs had protected the family when his grandmother Indira Gandhi lost the parliamentary election in 1977.
The Congress leader said he felt he owed a debt to Punjab and Punjabis.
“There was nobody in the house except these Sikhs who protected my grandmother,” he recalled.
Asked why Punjabis should trust him, Rahul said that the people of Punjab should see his actions and look at his political career, all through which he had always stood with those suffering any injust.