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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 31, 2007
Sonia alleges Modi Govt of treating farmers as criminals
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Sonia alleges Modi Govt of treating farmers as criminals

Congress president Sonia Gandhi today accused the Gujarat Government of treating the farmers in the state as criminals, saying it is not bothered about farmers welfare.

Mehsana (Gujarat), May 31 : Congress president Sonia Gandhi today accused the Gujarat Government of treating the farmers in the state as "criminals", saying it is not bothered about farmers' welfare.

Addressing a rally 'Kisan Mahasammelan' to mark the conclusion of the Kisan Yatra, Sonia said the Narendra Modi-led government in the state had promised farmers during the last elections to provide with 16-hours of electricity, but the supply is nowhere near it.

"The water level has gone so down that the pumps in most of the places have failed, they are unable to get water; there is a need of new and better pumps. But they don't even give a thought to it," she said.

"The state government is not bothered about your welfare, they have admitted in the state assembly that more than 40-farmers have committed suicide, some farmer unions claim this figure to be quite higher. Farmers can't be neglected and the Congress party is well aware of this fact," she added.

The UPA chairperson said the Central Government, led by Dr. Manmohan Singh, is highly concerned about their welfare, adding that it was taking steps for farmers' good, but the State Government was not cooperating.

"Centre decided to make the interest rate seven percent for the farmers, but the State Government is not implementing it. The Central Government has recently announced a national fund of 25,000 crore for the farmers. Our government at the Centre is working without any bias; our aim is the welfare of all the people-be they from any section of the society.

"We don't neglect anybody, if there is betterment in the life of our villages, we all will benefit from it, and it will be echoed through the cross section of the country. The Bharat Nirman Yojana will benefit one and all. Today, what we need the most is education and employment and not hatred. They talked about a vibrant Gujarat during their election campaigns, but they are in reality playing in the hands of a group of people," Sonia added.

She further came down strongly on the State Government over the law and order of the state, saying it was in a "pathetic" condition and that the ruling party was only interested in power.

"What happened in Saurashtra with some of our sisters recently is an example. Even then they don't have any solid thing to say. Fake encounters have taken place in the state, and once it is done they try to give it a communal colour. Even if one is a criminal, there is a rule of law for him. No one is above the law. They are very insensitive, they don't even have human values, the only thing they look at is the chair, power and nothing else," she claimed.

Later, the Congress president distributed tractors to farmers.

The Kisan Sandesh Yatra, which started from Ambaji in Banaskantha on May 20, 2007 under the aegis of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, came to an end today.

The Yatra, also called Parivartan Yatra, covered 1,400-kilometres through 32-assembly constituencies and five districts. It had started from Banaskantha and traveled through Sabarkantha, Patan, Gandhinagar and culminated in Mehsana.

The focus of the yatra was predominantly on farmers and tribals, and issues like power crisis, non-availability of loans and government's "bias" towards industrialists.

The yatra had started from Ambaji, which is a pilgrim town and is a Shaktipeeth of the country. It may be noted that before launching her political movement during the Janata Party regime in 1980, the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had prayed here and the Congress returned to power with overwhelming majority.


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