Raising his opposition further against the BJP-led NDA government and in particular the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress party’s vice president Rahul Gandhi paid a rousing visit in his parliamentary constituency Amethi. Taking on the central government and its policy, especially on the issue of shutting down Amethi Food Park, he aggressively addressed the crowd, saying “the PM travels the world, but has not visited the home of even one farmer who committed suicide”.
The Food Park in Amethi was shut in July 2014, two months after Narendra Modi-led BJP won clear majority in 2014 general elections.
Rahul made a passionate case for reopening of the food park as he had all along claimed it to be a vital venture for generating jobs in Amethi. 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.
“It would have benefited many people, but the Modi government snatched it away. Not from me, but from farmers, workers, the weak,” Rahul Gandhi told as he vowed to get back the food park while the city residents, party workers and loyalists warmly welcomed him. Hundreds of people and residents of Amethi gathered and kept following Gandhi as he got off his car and walked two kilometres to the site of the food park, which now stands scrapped.
On his first visit to Amethi after December 2014, the young leader will spend next three days in Amethi. He is expected to meet local residents and farmers in large numbers. Ever since his return from the much discussed 56-days leave of absence, Rahul Gandhi has been aggressively taking on NDA government over its policies for the farmers and deepening agrarian crises. However, the biggest fight is about the amending the land acquisition bill through bringing an Ordinance by the BJP government. The law on land acquisition was brought in by the Congress-led UPA government in 2013 and the changes brought in by the BJP in 2014 are billed by the Congress as “anti-farmers” and “anti-poor”.
Off late, Gandhi has opened a front against the government inside and outside the Parliament. While he has taken on the government over the issues of ordinance on land bill, rising number of farmer’s suicide, crop failure and even net neutrality, outside the house he is busy touring parts of the country to take up the issue of agriculture crises. Since his return, he has toured the states of Punjab, Telangana and Maharashtra meeting the distressed farmers and the families of those who committed suicide due to financial burden.
His attacks on the Prime Minister’s frequent travels in foreign countries have prompted the government and even the Prime Minister to join the issue with him in a subtle way.
“I am criticised for travelling, for working hard. If working hard is a crime, I am prepared to commit that crime for 125 crore Indians,” the Prime Minister had last week told the gathering of NRIs in China.