Rahul Gandhi has been indulging in shrill rhetoric as far as the rights of farmers go. He has been constantly cornering Prime Minister Modi, alleging that the Modi government has not done enough for the farmers despite Rahul Gandhi’s promises failing spectacularly in the states where Congress is now in power.
A scathing indictment of Rahul Gandhi’s utter failure in Amethi and a reminder of how hollow his supposed concern for India’s farmers really came yesterday when the farmers in Amethi protested against Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
A group of farmers from the Shahgarh area of Amethistaged a demonstration in Gauriganj against the Congress Party ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s arrival in Amethi on Wednesday. Reportedly, the farmers were protesting against Congress and Rahul Gandhi for the party’s failure to restart the Samrat Cycle factory. The protests were staged in front of Samrat Cycle factory.
Sanjay Singh, a farmer from Amethi told news agency ANI while protesting, “He should go back to Italy. He does not deserve to be here. Rahul has grabbed our land.”
Sanjay Singh also reportedly said, “Rahul Gandhi had promised us that the factory would start but it has not. He seems to have no intention of returning our land but we will not let that happen”.
The Samrat Cycle factory has an interesting past and is one case that perhaps signifies how the Gandhi family extracts its pound of flesh from the very people who elect them.
The Samrat Cycle factory was inaugurated by Rajiv Gandhi when he was the Member of Parliament from Amethi. UPSIDC had leased 65.57 acres of land to Samrat Cycle factory of the Jain brothers in 1986. However, the company, for some reason, did not take off and when the company was closed down, the Debts Recovery Tribunal got it auctioned in 2014 at Rs. 20.10 crore to recover the loan.
The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust paid stamp duty of Rs. 1,50,000 and purchased the land that was being auctioned. In 2015, Court held that the land was never owned by Samrat Cycles and, in fact, was on a lease and hence, could not be sold to Rajiv Gandhi Trust Foundation. The ownership was reverted to UPSIDC. The court held that it was probably a clerical error but also ordered a probe to find out if the land was recorded in the name of Samrat Cycles as a result of forgery. Rajiv Gandhi Trust was hence ordered to return the land to UPSIDC.
Merely two days before the Revenue Court ordered Rajiv Gandhi Trust to return the land to UPSIDC, Smriti Irani in Amethi had said, “65 acres of farmers’ land was acquired for (bicycle) factory in the 80s. Did the factory come up, did anyone get a job, what happened to the land? “No one can dare to speak but it is on stamp paper. The land was bought by Rajiv Gandhi Trust.”
One must recall that at the same time, Rahul Gandhi was drumming up rhetoric against the Land Acquisition Act saying that he will not allow anyone to take an inch of a farmers land. In fact, while Rajiv Gandhi Trust was being made to give the land back to UPSIDC, Rahul Gandhi was alleging that the Land Acquisition Act of the Modi government is the ‘biggest form of corruption’. While In Gujarat, he had said that he will change the Land Acquisition Act if voted to power.
While the protests in Amethi has reminded the people of the Samrat Cycle alleged land grab case all over again, the current promises to farmers by the Congress party have tanked just as spectacularly. Across Madhya Pradesh, many farmers have realised that only a few rupees of their loans have been waived off and several farmers have been committing suicide in MP after their ‘conditions apply’ loan waiver scheme.
In addition to this, the Congress governments in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are facing severe outrage from the farmers within weeks of their government formation, as both governments in the respective states had created a crisis by mismanaging the supply of urea.
Rahul Gandhi led Congress which came to power in various states promising several sops of loan waivers, high MSP to the farmers seems to have started on a very bad note. The Congress-JDS government in Karnataka has completely failed in waiving off farm loans which have resulted in two deaths of the farmers, while many farmers have also received repayment notices from the banks.