Mumbai: Welcoming the decision of the farmers to call off their year-long agitation, the Maharashtra Congress on Thursday urged the Central government to not betray the trust and fulfil all its promises made to the tillers.
“After the Centre’s written assurance, the farmers have called off their long agitation. But, given the past experience, we hope these promises are not turned into a ‘jumla’ and are fulfilled,” Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole said here.
He said the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured it will enact a Minimum Support Price Act, discuss the issue of electricity bills with the farmers and introduce a bill to give them relief, withdraw offences registered against them during the agitation and pay compensation to those who lost their lives.
“The farmers’ organisations have expressed their satisfaction and ended their 378-days-old agitation. But, the Modi government cannot wash it hands off the 700 farmers’ lives lost during the stir, owing to its arrogance and dictatorial attitude,” Patole said.
All India Kisan Sabha leader President Dr. Ashok Dhawale and General Secretary Dr. Ajit Nawale said the farmers will suspend the agitation on Saturday and celebrate with a nationwide ‘Victory Day’ to mark the end of the historic struggle.
The farmers were subjected to unspeakable atrocities in the past one year, but if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had taken the same stand a year ago, such a huge loss of human lives and money could have been prevented, Patole added.
He recalled the contributions of the Congress party and its leader Rahul Gandhi who supported and stood with the farmers rock-solid from the very beginning and had even declared that “the government will have to bow down before the farmers”, which ultimately happened.
Calling for caution since “it is difficult to trust the BJP and Modi”, he said before coming to power, they had promised to double the income of farmers, give MSP at 1.5 times, create 2 crore jobs annually, give Rs 15-lakh, control inflation in 100 days, slash petrol prices to Rs 35/litres, etc, but they were only “pre-election sloganeering”.
“The country will never forget all this…. The BJP should apologise to the nation. Even the promise to meet the farmers’ demands is because the BJP fears defeat in the upcoming elections to five states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab,” Patole said pointedly, urging the Centre to implement its words.