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PM on foreign tours, he should see farmers’ condition: Rahul

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015,19:01 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Highlighting the farmers’ plight a day after his Punjab visit, Rahul Gandhi today targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha for his foreign tours and said he should travel to the state to know first hand about the condition of the farming community.
Again his (PM’s) tour is on the cards. He has come here for sometime. He should visit Punjab and he will know first hand what is happening to farmers, the Congress Vice President said, triggering uproar as BJP members protested.
Raising the issue of farmers during Zero Hour a day after his visit to mandis in Punjab, Gandhi said he wanted to apprise the House of the pain and problems of the state’s farmers whose produce is lying in mandis and is not being procured by the government.
The refrain of Gandhi was that the NDA government had left the farmer to fend for himself.
Amid protests by BJP members, Gandhi took a swipe at the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, questioning whether farmers are not contributing to ‘Make in India’ by providing food to the entire country.
When there was hailstorm, the government did not help. State governmments used to give bonus, farmers tolerated its non-payment. Farmers were lathicharged when they asked for fertiliser. Now their produce is not being lifted from mandis, he said.
Gandhi accused the government of not procuring the produce of farmers, a charge rubbished by Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan who hit back by suggesting that the Congress leader was trying to become a martyr by cutting a finger.
Gandhi said while farmers in the mandis are crying, the Haryana Agriculture Minister is saying farmers committing suicide are cowards, he said amid cries of shame, shame from the opposition.
Asserting that government is purchasing each and every grain from farmers, Paswan insisted that the government under the leadership of Modi had taken several decisions for the welfare of farmers which had not happened in the past 10 years of the UPA.
Contending that the Prime Minister is not only concerned about the welfare of farmers, Paswan said he has proactively taken several steps to help the farmers hit hard by unseasonal rains and hailstorm.
There was uproar over the issue, leading to adjournment of the House for 10 minutes.