Morena, MP, Oct 6: Seeking to draw a distinction with the “pro-industry” ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that his party will ensure that the right to 'jal, jangal aur jameen (land, water and forests)' is given to tribal and farmers.
“The rights of farmers, tribal, poor, labourers, dalits and minorities are being snatched in the country, one after another,” said Mr Gandhi while addressing the Jan Andolan Rally here.
“Panchayati Raj Institutions are being weakened and MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) is being run by the bureaucracy, which actually does not want to run it. The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act and the Tribal Bill are not being implemented properly,” he said.
Mr Gandhi promised that his party would provide insurance cover to farmers for crop loss on the basis of farm, instead of it being provided on village basis. “Money is taken from you in the name of insurance, but you do not get the benefit in the event of crop failure, because you are told that insurance is done on village basis,” he said.
Mentioning that the Congress believed in extending rights to citizens, Gandhi said that the Tribal Bill would be implemented as soon as the Congress comes to power.
Launching a scathing attack on the Centre over the escape of businessmen Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya from the country with Rs 35,000 cr and Rs 10,000 cr, Mr Gandhi charged the Prime Minister with helping his industrialist friend Anil Ambani pocket Rs 30,000 cr from the Rafale deal.
“Our fight is for justice. I agree that industrialists sometimes need space to move on. But a similar favour is not extended for farmers in the form of loan waiver,” he said.
Exhorting people to recognise intentions in order to make the right choice, the Gandhi scion said, “The biggest corruption takes place in land. It is the poor and farmers who suffer. We fought for the Land Acquisition Bill and implemented it. And who is making false promises? Who is standing with Ambani and Nirav Modi? And who is standing with tribal and farmers?”
Observing that two main streams of thought are confronting each other in politics, he said, “Certain people feel that the benefit of India's progress should go to a few selected persons. On the other hand, others are of the opinion that it should benefit all.”
“On one hand is the BJP, and on the other is public, farmers, labourers, small businessmen, tribal, dalit, women and the Congress. And the latter would win this fight. The Congress would ensure the right to 'jal, jangal and jameen (land, water and forests)' is given to you,” said Mr Gandhi. UNI