Expressing shock at Congress leader Vidya Rani's 'liquor help' to farmers' agitation, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday, claimed that 'this exposed what the protests for Congress'. Meanwhile, his colleague Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat scoffed at Vidya Rani's plan saying that 'the dead Congress party can't be revived with liquor'. He said that it needed the party needed 'country service and dedication' which was missing in Congress.
यह कांग्रेस नेत्री कहती हैं कि प्रदर्शन कर रहे किसानों को शराब दी जाए क्योंकि उनकी वजह से मरी हुई कांग्रेस में फिर से जान आई है।— Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@gssjodhpur) February 15, 2021
लेकिन मरी हुई कांग्रेस ना तो शराब पिला कर जिंदा की जा सकती है और ना ही किसी बाहरी मदद से! उसके लिए देश सेवा भाव और समर्पण चाहिए, जो इनमें गायब है! pic.twitter.com/Wp8cO7lveQ
On Saturday, Haryana Congress leader Vidya Rani urged party workers to strengthen the farmers' agitation by taking care of their needs - be it money, vegetables, or liquor. Stating that Congress was almost destroyed after the (state or Centre) polls, she said that the farmers' agitation had given a new lease to the party. Chalking out a plan to hold padyatras in all districts in Haryana, she said that 'this was not just a farmers' agitation, but a people's agitation'. Protests continue for the 79th day at Delhi's borders - Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur.
"We should do padayatra in every district, as they come under control, This will give Congress a new direction and Congress will be reborn. When we lost this time, our existence has almost been destroyed. This agitation was finished on January 26, but it was reignited because farmers' ideals were strong. We should not leave any stone unturned. Be it money, vegetables, liquor-we can contribute to them as we like and strengthen this agitation. This is not just a farmer agitation, but agitation for all of us," she said.
After completing a peaceful 'Chakka Jam' across India except in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, farmers have intensified the protests with BKU leader Rakesh Tikait announcing a tour across Western India from February 14 to 23 - covering Haryana Maharashtra and Rajasthan, holding Kisan Mahapanchayats in these places to encourage more farmers to join the protests. Moreover, after the violence witnessed on Republic Day, Delhi police fortified the city borders by cementing nails near barricades, deploying additional troops, adding barbed wires etc at Ghazipur (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh) and Tikri (Delhi-Haryana) borders, blocking access to the roads completely. MHA had snapped off internet across all three border areas - Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur and later extended the ban to 1-2 days more. Farmers have reiterated 'No Ghar Wapsi till Law Wapsi', as the protests have caught several international celebrities' interest online.
After Tikait's breakdown at Ghazipur due to Yogi govt's diktat to 'vacate Ghazipur protest site', politicians thronged Ghazipur border, where Tikait and other UP farmers are camped at. While Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh addressed the Kisan Mahapanchayat at Muzaffarnagar, politicians like Abhay Singh Chautala, Chaudhary Ajit Singh, Sanjay Singh, Arvind Kejriwal spoke to Tikat after he broke down. Many other leaders like Indian National Lok Dal’s Abhay Singh Chautala, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party’s Hanuman Beniwal, Congress' Ajay Lallu and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut have visited Tikait at Delhi borders. After 11 rounds of Centre-farmer talks, the two parties failed to reach a middle ground after a five-hour meeting with the associations refusing to agree to the Centre's proposal for suspending the implementation of the aforesaid legislation for one and a half years.