- Rahul Gandhi said the laws would take away the livelihoods of farmers
- "PM Modi is making money for the crony capitalists," he said
- "There is no democracy in India, only in imagination": Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi, in a fierce attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government over the month-long farmer protests, said today there was "no democracy" in India and those who stood up against the PM were labelled terrorists, "even if it were (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwat". He also demanded the repeal of the farm laws, calling them a result of the government appeasing crony capitalists.
"PM Modi is making money for the crony capitalists. Whoever will try to stand against him will be called a terrorist - be it farmers, labourers and even Mohan Bhagwat," the Congress leader said, referring to the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP's ideological mentor.
"There is no democracy in India. If some of you think there is, then it's in your imagination".
Rahul Gandhi was speaking after leading a delegation of Congress workers to President Ram Nath Kovind to seek his intervention in ending the massive protests near Delhi over the farm laws enacted in September. The Congress has also demanded a joint session of parliament to discuss the laws, which the opposition alleges were rammed through parliament in violation of rules.
The Congress march led by Rahul Gandhi to the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhawan was stopped by the police and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and several other party leaders were taken into custody and driven away in buses. Only a few Congress leaders then proceeded.
Mr Gandhi, speaking after his meeting with the President, said the laws would take away the livelihoods of millions of farmers and they were designed to favour "four or five businessmen" who were crony capitalists.
"What the youth and all the people of this country should know is that the PM is an incompetent man, who knowns nothing. He is an incompetent man who only listens to the crony capitalists. He does whatever they tell him," he said.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting since November-end on highways near Delhi against the laws, which the centre says are important for reforms in the agriculture sector. Farmers fear the laws will deprive them of guaranteed minimum earnings and leave them open to exploitation by big business.
"The farmers and labourers are uniting now. But like always, the moment someone speaks against the government of the day, they are labelled anti-nationals and terrorists. This is unfortunate, but that is what is happening today. People's voices are being stifled," said the Congress leader.