Even as the next round of deliberations between the agitating farmers' unions and the Centre is slated for January 4, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday said that the central government is "insensitive" while alleging that the Centre is passing time with a thought that farmers will be tired and protest will die down.
While addressing a gathering at a protest meeting held by the Congress party in Jaipur, Gehlot said, "Around 39 days have passed since the farmers have been protesting at the borders of Delhi in winter. One can think about what must be the farmers going through. The government is being very insensitive. They think that the farmers will be tired and the protest will die down. The government is doing time pass."
"The question is to determine the fate of the farmers of the country. The government thinks only farmers of Haryana and Punjab are sitting in protest. Farmers from the country's 6.5 lakh villages stand in solidarity with the protesting farmers," he said.
Gehlot contended that the Rajasthan cabinet brought the state farb bills to reduce the impact of the farm laws of the parliament.
"We are together with the farmers. The situation is very serious as more than 86 per cent farmers in the country have less than 5 acres of land. On average, they have only two acres land. The Rajasthan government brought farm bills for the state to lessen the impact of the central farm laws," he said.
Interestingly, the Congress in its 2019 election manifesto as well as on multiple other occasions in the past promised the same policies in the agriculture sector which the three agrarian laws bring forth.
In a bid to praise the citizens of the country, he referred to Indira Gandhi's return to power with a majority, after three years of defeat in 1977.
"India's people are very intelligent, whether they be less educated or more. Even Indira ji (former prime minister Indira Gandhi), who delivered independence to Bangladesh, had lost in 1977. But in three years, she returned to power with a majority. In a democracy, people have always had their say," he said.
Speaking of the contribution of Congress in Indian history, he slammed the BJP by saying, "Former prime minister Indira Gandhi lost her life but did not let Khalistan to be formed. Another former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi also lost his life due to terrorism. Former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh annihilated terrorism in Punjab. He also lost his life due to terrorism. Today BJP raises questions that what did Congress do? They should realise that Congress was the reason behind the country's unity."
The protests on the Delhi borders continue unabated with the seventh round of deliberations to be held on Monday. A consensus was achieved between the two sides on two of the four agendas set by the farmers' unions in the sixth round of deliberations that was held on Wednesday. The seventh round of deliberations is likely to discuss the demand put forward by the farmers' unions i.e. complete withdrawal of farm laws and legalisation of MSP.
Amid the continued agitation against the farm laws, several farmers organizations have come out in larger numbers to express their support to the farm laws. Recently, farmers in Meerut organised an outreach program to highlight the benefits of the three farm laws. Moreover, farmers have also held tractor rally in Gautam Budh Nagar. In December, a crowd of 20,000 farmers from Meerut came out in support of the three agrarian laws. Farmers organisations had even met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to express their support to the farm laws with certain amendments in place.
(With ANI inputs)