New Delhi : Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday on his foreign trips and said farmers producing grain are also part of the ‘Make in India’.
“I was in Punjab yesterday (Tuesday) and met farmers at the mandis (markets)… Farmers are crying and Haryana agriculture minister says those who commit suicide are cowards,” Rahul Gandhi said, raising the issue in the Lok Sabha during zero hour.
“Government says there should be ‘Make in India’… It is our government, your government, but not farmers’ government,” he said.
“Our prime minister is on a tour of India, he must also go to Punjab. He will know what is happening… Farmer growing wheat is also ‘Make in India’,” he said taking a jibe at the prime minister.
The attack resulted in a ruckus in the lower house, with members of the ruling alliance protesting the comments.
Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal countered Gandhi saying that though the Congress vice president has visited Punjab, he was yet to visit his own constituency.
“I would like to ask him when the farmers were suffering inclement weather, including hail storms, where was he then?”
“Some people have come back and to reinvent themselves they are playing a drama here. They should do so in Amethi (Rahul Gandhi’s constituency),” she said.
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, responding to the Congress leader, said: “We are doing the work which you didn’t do for the nation.”
The minister for consumer affairs intervened in the discussion, saying that the government has for the first time given a “value cut” as far as the quality of grain is concerned.
“We have increased the import duties and have also compensated farmers,” he said.
He assured the house that all of farmers’ grain would be bought at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). “By just visiting the mandi (whole-sale market), they are trying to becomes martyrs,” he said in a dig at Rahul Gandhi.
“You should thank the prime minister and the government for the support being given to farmers,” he said.
Following the ruckus, speaker Sumitra Mahajan briefly adjourned the house.