Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the Centre of crony capitalism, saying the country is run is by “hum do, humare do (we two, ours two)” policy, reported The Times of India. The slogan was used in the government’s family planning campaigns many years ago.
“This government has given that slogan a new meaning,” Gandhi said in Lok Sabha. “The country is run by four people. Hum do, aur humaare do. This hum do humare do began with notebandi [demonetisation]. Then came GST [Goods and Services Tax]. Then came Covid-19. Migrant workers pleaded for a bus or train ticket to return home, but were told to walk back.”
Gandhi, however, did not take anyone’s name, saying that “everyone knows them”, reported NDTV.
However, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi ended up scoring sort of a self-goal when he objected to Gandhi’s assertion, saying: “It is wrong to say that 40% storage capacity is with Adani and Ambani...He will have to prove his allegation,” The Telegraph reported. His comment sparked laughter among the Opposition benches.
On the farmers’ protest against the agricultural laws, the Congress leader said it was not as it appears. “It is [a] struggle for survival for many others too,” he said. “You all feel that this is a farmers’ protest, but you all are very wrong. This is India’s protest...the farmers are just leading the way.”
Gandhi said that the agitation was India’s protest because the farm laws will not only ruin farmers but also finish the middlemen and have a “devastating effect” on small shopkeepers and businessmen. He said that it will also affect the small and medium enterprises that will lead to the destruction of the country’s rural economy.
Amid interruptions from the treasury benches, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked Gandhi to limit his discussion on the Budget. However, Gandhi said that agriculture was a part of the Budget.
Gandhi then went on to explain the farm laws. “The intent of the first farm law is to ensure that farmers’ produce is sold to a top few industrialists – one of whom is known by all as the government’s first friend,” he said. “The content of the second law is that big businessmen can store as much food grains, fruits and vegetables as they want. The content of the third law is that when a farmer goes before the biggest businessman of India to demand the right price for his crops, he will not be allowed to go to the court.”
He alleged that the government’s intention is to break the backs of farmers, labourers, small shop owners, middlemen, and help its top “industrialist friends”.
“The farmers and labourers of this nation will destroy you,” Gandhi said. “You will never win against them. The farmers will not move an inch back...you will have to repeal these laws. You will lose in the end, that is certain.”
Gandhi also led his party members and those from the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to observe a two-minute silence while standing to mourn the death of 200 protesting farmers. The Congress leader said he was doing this as the government did not pay tribute to them.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anurag Thakur hit back at him. “If Rahul Gandhi takes the name of two companies, can he tell us, the state where he is elected from, who got the port in that state,” he asked according to The Hindu. “With folded hands the port was given to said company.”
Thakur also took a jibe at the “hum do, humare do” slogan, saying that Gandhi must be talking about “didi, jijaji and two” (sister, brother-in-law and two). The Union minister was apparently referring to Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi and brother-in-law Robert Vadra.
Besides Gandhi, other Opposition leaders have alleged that the Budget was “pro-corporate”. Gandhi had said that instead of giving cash in the hands of the people, the government was selling the country’s assets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “crony capitalist friends”.