Rahul Gandhi has once again attacked the Union government for shutting the mega agricultural project Food Park in his parliamentary constituency Amethi. He is currently on a three day visit to Amethi, his longest stay at his constituency in recent times. Rahul Gandhi has directly taken on Narendra Modi-led government on this emotive issue for the second time in as many days.
“The move of BJP-led government has affected farmers and labourers of Amethi and 10 neighbouring districts. The Centre wanted to take revenge from me, but the move has affected farmers,” the Congress Vice President told a gathering of farmers.
On Tuesday he held a meeting with the farmers and local residents of Munshiganj area. Earlier, he addressed large gatherings at Jagdishpur and Amethi town launching criticism against the policies of BJP-led NDA government. However, he seems to be more candid and at ease in this visit as he held several chaupals or small one-to-one chats with the distressed farmers and locals in Mirzagarh, Tatarpur and other interior areas.
Holding these small interactions, the young leader is trying to hard-sell the Congress party’s stand on agriculture policies of Modi government which they have been terming ‘anti-farmer’ and ‘anti-poor’ for long, especially the contentious ordinance on the land acquisition.
“If we talk of farmers and labourers, I will give zero out of 10 (to Modi government), (But) if some industrialists and corporate houses are concerned, I will give 10 out of 10,“ he said when the press pack sought his opinion on central government’s performance in one year.
Earlier on Monday, he had strongly opposed BJP government’s move to scrap the food park in Amethi, a district of UP, which was launched by previous Congress-led UPA government in October 2013. The Rs. 200-crore mega scheme was aimed at generating jobs for nearly 40,000 farmers.
“Had the food park been set up, it would have changed the fate of farmers. By cancelling it, the Modi government has dealt a blow to farmers. He has snatched it from them and not from me. We will pressure the government to get it back,” Gandhi told the villagers.
However, late on Monday, the NDA government reacted against Rahul Gandhi’s attack on the centre over the issue of Amethi food park. Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur said, “neither Rahul nor his party was serious to set up the food park… Rahul is spreading falsehood. If you see their proposed revenue model, after getting cheap gas, they proposed to earn 62 per cent revenue from power generation”.
The confrontation between the ruling BJP and principal opposition Congress is expected to rise further as the former plans to celebrate the first anniversary of its victory, while the latter is making claims to expose the ruling party’s first year in office.