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As Priyanka Gandhi cites Nehru to attack the new Farm Laws, here’s how India’s first PM gifted poisonous ‘Congress grass’ to the nation

Priyanka Gandhi today resorted to fear-mongering regarding the new farm laws as she said that the Bills would help the 'Arabpatis' and not farmers

Even as the so-called farmers’ protests plod along the Delhi border, the Congress party appears to have decided to milk the situation to the hilt by indulging in scare-mongering and sowing seeds of confusion and doubts among the anxious farmers. To this end, senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi today attended Kisan Mahapanchayat in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur where she resorted to spreading fears about the newly introduced Farm Laws.

Speaking in the rally, Gandhi said, “In 1955, Jawaharlal Nehru had made laws against hoarding. But this law has been scrapped by the BJP govt. This new law will help the ‘Arabpatis’. They will decide the price of farmers’ produce.”

The Gandhi leader further said that the Congress party will scrap the new laws if it is voted to power. “The three laws are demonic. If voted to power, the Congress will scrap these laws,” she said.

And since Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held forth on how her great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru worked in the interests of the country, it is important to revisit the times when the decision that was taken by the first prime minister of the country and the leading light of the Congress party spectacularly boomeranged and resulted in the proliferation of a poisonous weed across the country.

Jawaharlal Nehru and Congress gifted the ‘poisonous weed’ to the nation

During the 1950s after independence, India was facing a food shortage. To mitigate this crisis, the Congress government at the centre at that time decided to import wheat from the USA. The food-grain was obtained under the PL 480 (food for peace) programme of the USA. But the wheat that was shipped to India was of inferior quality, and it was mixed with seeds of the parthenium weed. Thus from this shipment from the USA, the dangerous weed spread in India.

Spotted first in Pune, five decades down the line, it can now still be found in Andaman-Nicobar islands. It is alleged that when the weed was first spotted, the government didn’t take any step to stop its spread. For this reason, people named the weed as ‘Congress grass’, considering it as a gift of the Congress government to the nation.

The poisonous and invasive parthenium, commonly known as ‘congress grass’ or ‘gajar ghas’ is known to have created nuisance in many parts of the world. The weed, which is known to cause skin and respiratory diseases owing to its poisonous property, has already created havoc in many Indian states, including Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

The congress grass grows extremely fast along the roads in many villages and kills many other flora species on its way. The weed has managed to thrive even at places where other species of weeds have not survived and cattle, too, stay away from them. According to experts, the weed needs to be removed manually with hands before it escalates and reaches the next phase. The species is harmful to humans as well as animals.

If left unchecked the grass could spread uncontrollably within a short span of time. The plant grows about 5-6 feet in height and can produce as many as 5,000-10,000 seeds. The seeds, which are lightweight can spread far and wide with help of wind, rain and human and cattle movement, leading to uninterrupted growth.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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