Congress vice-President Rahul Gandhi is redefining himself. For a leader who has a very quiet stint all throughout the tenure of UPA for 10 years has now made 4 speeches in Lok Sabha in the last past weeks after his comeback from 56 days ‘leave of absence’. On Thursday again, Rahul Gandhi appeared combative as he made an incisive intervention on the closure of Amethi Mega Food Park by the incumbent government.
The food park project was shelved by NDA government in July 2014, shortly after coming to power. Batting for the project that was instrumental in providing jobs as well as aiding the farmers of the region, Rahul Gandhi attacked the government over its decision to shut the project.
“All I want to say is that the Food Park in Amethi will bring a massive change in the lives of farmers… please don’t cancel it. In Amethi, one farmer asked me that we sell potatoes for Rs. 2/kg, but when our children go to buy chips, they have to pay Rs. 10 per packet, that may have chips from just one potato.”
Accusing the government of working with the politics of vendetta, the MP from Amethi drew a reference on Prime Minister Modi’s one of the past speeches.
“I liked when the PM said ‘main yahan badle ki raajniti karne nahin, badlaav ki rajniti karne aaya hoon,’. A politician has only promises to keep, and the PM has biggest responsibility to upkeep his own promise. But that hasn’t happened. I urge please do not shut the food park,” said Congress leader.
The passions ran high in the lower house as it witnessed loud exchange between the members from both the sides. Some witty remarks with political overtones were made too.
“main kisaan ki baat kara raha hoon…suit ki nahin (I am talking of the farmers, not of the suit),” Rahul Gandhi said amid thumping applause from the members of the opposition. Congress MP from Assam, Sushmita Deb too said “aap log itna darr kyon rahe ho? (Why are you so afraid to listen?),” as she sought to know from the members on ruling benches who rose in protest.
In its reply, the government said they will certainly look into it. Replying to Gandhi’s intervention, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said “I am also son of a farmer. Will certainly look into the issue raised by you”.
The Rs 200-crore project was inaugurated during the Congress-led UPA government time in October 2013. The mega food park project was supposed to bring investment to UP and give employment to 40,000 youths in Amethi and surrounding districts but now all that stands stalled.