The Congress launched a scathing attack on the Centre on Saturday, which marked the completion of 100 days of the farmers’ agitation against the three farm laws, terming the period as a “black chapter” in the history of India’s democracy.
The Congress also said that Saturday marked the completion the ruling BJP’s “arrogance”, for the treatment it meted out to the protesting farmers.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Nails have been laid on the borders of Delhi for those whose sons risk their lives on the country’s borders. ‘Annadaatas’ (farmers) demand their rights, but the government commits atrocities.”
In a tweet in Hindi, party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “100 days of the struggle of the farmers, of the battle of rights. Respect for the annadatas (farmers), (Mahatma) Gandhiji, Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patelji, (Jawaharlal) Nehruji, (Lal Bahadur) Shastriji, and the path shown by Shaheed Bhagat Singh. 100 days of BJP government’s arrogance, of assault on farmers, of lies…”
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “Today is the 100th day of the farmers’ protest. The farmers have been sitting on several borders of the national capital. They have braved the rain and winter chill and now the summers are here.”
He said the farmers also braved all kinds of insults which were heaped upon them by the government, while 255 farmers have lost their lives during the protest till date.
“Today there is an attempt to wipe out the narrative of the farmers, to wipe out the narrative of the protest. The farmers are waiting for a phone call from the government, the one promised by the Prime Minister himself. But no phone calls have been made to the farmers yet,” he said.
“Now we are entering into a more dangerous arena. We have to wait and watch how the cornered government reacts. The farmers have termed this day as a ‘Black Day’. We think this is a black chapter in our democracy, where everything has been done to disrupt the peaceful protest; all kinds of conspiracies were hatched against the farmers, but they remained undeterred,” Khera said.
“The Congress demands that the three farm laws should be immediately repealed,” he added.
Khera also shared an example from 1988 when the government had shifted a programme from the Boat Club to make way for a farmers’ protest.
“I remember in 1988, there was a huge farmers’ movement at the Boat Club when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. A big event was planned there in the memory of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. But the Rajiv Gandhi government shifted the venue of the event out of respect for the protesting farmers,” he said.
He added that the government did not remove the farmers from the Boat Club or demonise them, nor did it link them with foreign powers.
“We did not do any such thing which are being done now. That is how a government should behave in a democracy,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, agitating farmers blocked the 136-km Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway to mark 100 days of their protest against the three Central farm laws which were enacted in September last year.