Congress Launches Social Media Campaign To Muster Support For Agitating Farmers

When farmers raise their voice, it resonates across the country, says Rahul Gandhi
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi
PTI Nov 30, 2020

The Congress on Monday launched a social media campaign to muster support for the farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws with party leader Rahul Gandhi saying, when farmers raise their voice, it resonates across the country.

The party asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why a conspiracy was being hatched to destroy the minimum support price (MSP) system and snatch the livelihood of 62 crore farmers.

"The Modi government has persecuted the farmer - first it brought black laws and then used lathis against them, but it forgot that when the farmer raises his voice, it resonates throughout the country. You also raise your voice against the exploitation of farmers and join the #SpeakUpForFarmers campaign," Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

"The farmer of the country has come to Delhi in the cold, leaving his home and fields, to voice his protest against the black agriculture laws. In this battle of truth and untruth, with whom do you stand - the 'Annadata' (food-giving) farmer or the PM's capitalist friends," Gandhi said in another tweet.

The former Congress chief said wherever these farmers are protesting, the people and Congress workers should stand in their support and provide them food.

"The question is why is the farmer out on the roads, travelling thousands of kilometers and is stalling traffic. PM Modi says the three farm laws are in favour of the farmer, but if these laws are in the farmer's favour, why is he not happy and why is he protesting?" asked the Congress leader. "These laws are for Narendra Modi's two-three friends and are aimed at stealing from the farmers. That is why we all have to together stand with the strength of India --- the farmer," he said.

He also shared an over one-minute-long video as part of the campaign in which the Congress party asked the government to listen to the grievances of the farmers and not use force against them. The video also alleged that while the farmers are producing food grains to feed the country, they are facing water cannons and lathis at the hands of the Modi government.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also joined the #SpeakUpForFarmers campaign and shared the same video highlighting the plight of the farmers. "In the name of farm laws, all billionaire friends are benefitting. How can farm laws be framed without even talking to farmers? How can the interests of farmers be ignored?" she said in a tweet in Hindi.

"The government will have to listen to the farmers. Let us together raise our voice in support of farmers," she said while seeking public support in favour of the farmers.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Prime Minister should announce the suspension of the three agri laws and take back all 12,000 FIRs filed against farmers without any pre-conditions. He also demanded that Modi should himself talk to the representatives of all farmer unions and assures them of redressing their grievances.

"When will you withdraw the black farm laws? Why is conspiracy being hatched to destroy the MSP system? Why are you conspiring to snatch the livelihood of 62 crore farmers? Food growers of the country are crying for justice. Why are you using tear gas and batons to break their morale?" Surjewala asked Modi.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, "Lakhs of farmers who are protesting the anti-farmer laws passed by the govt have now been stopped outside Delhi. If the BJP is convinced of the laws passed by them, they should have to courage to meet the farmers and convince them."

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat lamented that the farmers who are helping the country's falling economy have been rewarded with the new "black laws" and their grievances have not been heard. "There is a conspiracy to take away the MSP, demolish the existing mandi structure and end the procurement system through the FCI," Rawat said.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the treatment meted out to the protesting farmers is condemnable and the central government should initiate a dialogue with them.

Former Union minister Ashwani Kumar said the face-off between the farmers and central government over farm laws is fraught with grave consequences for law and order and the nation's internal security.

The Congress on its official Twitter handle demanded that the government must stop the alleged violence and atrocities against the farmers who are exercising their right to protest. "Use of brute force on the souls that feed a billion stomachs is nothing but grave, inhumane, gut-wrenching injustice. India will not stand for this. India will #SpeakUpForFarmers," the party tweeted from its official handle.

A host of party leaders, including Shashi Tharoor, Salman Khurshid, and Sunil Jakhar also spoke in support of the farmers and urged the government to redress their grievances.

The Congress has launched a day-long online campaign in support of the farmers who are agitating on the roads against the farm laws.

The ongoing protests by thousands of farmers against the Centre's new farm laws entered the fifth day on Monday, with the protesters threatening to block all five entry points to the national capital.

Rejecting the Centre's offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground, the farmers said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and vowed to continue agitating until their demands are met.

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