The Congress on Monday put pressure on the Narendra Modi-led government, with a number of its leaders and spokespersons tweeting ahead of the seventh round of talks on agriculture laws between the Centre and farmer unions.
Party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted a newspaper clipping that showed farmers protesting amid rains on Sunday. “Today is the true test of Nationalism! Will Modi Govt act in National Interest or Crony Corporate Interest?” Surjewala asked.
Party’s MP and former president Rahul Gandhi posted photos of the protesting farmers and criticised the government for its approach towards them, pointing out that they have been sitting in tents in biting cold.
Former Finance Minister and the party’s senior leader P Chidambaram quoted Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar. “My favourite poet Saint Tiruvalluvar wrote 2000 years ago that If farmers fold their hands, even a person who has renounced life cannot survive,” he tweeted. “How true it is today. No government can face the wrath of farmers who believe they are being deceived.”
Congress’ Uttar Pradesh General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted a video clipping of the police hurling tear gas shells at the protesting farmers. “On one hand the government invites farmers for talks and on the other fires tear gas shells at them,” she tweeted. “60 farmers have lost their lives due to this arrogant and cruel behaviour. How can the farmers trust this government?”
On its official handle too, the party posted a series of tweets using the hashtag #KisanNahiToDeshNahi (Without farmers, there is no country).
On Sunday, party president Sonia Gandhi had criticised the Modi government over its handling of the farmers’ protest and said that the country had never seen a government that was as arrogant.
Meanwhile, the seventh round of talks between the Centre and farmers’ unions began on Monday afternoon at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi.
In the sixth round of talks between the two sides on December 30, common ground was reached on two demands of decriminalisation of stubble-burning and continuation of power subsidies. However, no breakthrough has yet been reached on the two main demands of the farmers – repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee of the Minimum Support Price.