New Delhi: Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi on November 19, 2021, said after almost 12 months of Gandhian agitation, the repeal of three farm laws is a “Victory of the will of 62 crore farmers and sacrifices of more than 700 farmers who laid their lives for this struggle”, and hoped that the BJP government would have drawn some lessons for future. In a statement issued after the announcement of the repeal of farm laws by Prime Minister, she also hoped that the government will shed its pride and arrogance and works towards the welfare of farmers. Following is the complete text of the Statement:
Statement of Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi
After almost 12 months of Gandhian agitation, the struggle and will power of 62 crore farmers and farm labourers emerged victorious today. Today, the sacrifices of more than 700 farmer families have paid off, whose dear ones sacrificed their lives in this struggle for justice. Today is the victory of truth, justice and non-violence.
Today, the anti-farmer, anti-labourer conspiracy hatched by the people in power as well as the arrogance of the dictatorial rulers have also been defeated. Today, the conspiracy to attack livelihood and farming also stands defeated. Today, the three anti-farming laws have lost to the ‘Annadata’ who has finally emerged victorious.
For the last seven years, the BJP government has been attacking the agriculture sector in different ways. Whether it was by discontinuing the bonus given to farmers, as soon as the BJP government came to power, or whether it was through a conspiracy to end the Act enacted to ensure fair compensation to farmers for their land by bringing an ordinance. Whether it is a refusal to pay the farmers their cost plus 50 percent profit as promised by the Prime Minister or the huge increase in the cost of diesel and agricultural products, or the attack on the farmers through three black anti-farm laws.
Today, when according to the NSO of the Government of India, the average income of the farmer has come down to Rs. 27 per day, and the average debt burden on the farmer of the country is 74,000, then the government and every person in the country need to think again on how farming can be made profitable in the true sense and how farmers get the fair price for their crop by way of MSP.
The farmer and the farm labourers need justice and rights, not torture or need to beg. It is not only our duty but also a constitutional obligation. In a democracy, any decision should be taken only after holding discussion with all, taking consent of all those affected and only after consultation with the opposition. Hope the Modi government has at least learnt some lessons for the future.
I hope that the Prime Minister and the BJP government will leave aside their ‘Rajhath’ (stubbornness) and arrogance and pay attention to implementing policies of farmers’ welfare, will ensure MSP and will evolve a consensus with state governments, farmer organisations and opposition parties before taking any such step in future.