Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was supposed to open the discussion on the budget in Lok Sabha yesterday, finally spoke today evening. However, the former Congress president refused to speak on the budget, saying he will only speak on the farmer protests.
Rahul Gandhi started his speech in the lower house today with the farmers’ issue. When treasury bench MPs opposed the same, saying that the discussion was on the union budget, the Kerala MP bluntly refused to divert the focus of his speech, saying
‘farmer issue is also a budget, please respect them’.
He then proceeded to attack the three farm laws, continuing with the same lies that the farmer unions and opposition parties are using against the reforms. He said that the first law allows anyone to buy as much farm product as they want. Rahul Gandhi posed a bizarre question, asking ‘if there is unlimited purchase of farm products in the country, who will go to mandis?’. He then concluded that the intent of the farm law is to abolish mandis.
He then accused that the second farm law corporates to hoard farm products as much as they want, without any limit. He said that the second law scraps the essential commodities act, which will encourage unlimited hoarding. He alleged that the third law prevents the farmer from going to court if they are not paid the right price by the corporate buyers.
Such lies on the farm laws in the Parliament cause a furore in the house, especially when he was participating in the budget discussion. But ignoring the protests, and the speaker’s intervention asking him to talk on the budget, Rahul Gandhi proceeded to accuse the Modi government of working for Adani and Ambani. Although he didn’t name them, using the phrase ‘hum do hamarao do’ instead, saying he does not need to name them as everybody knows it. He alleged that laws will only benefit these two persons, and will harm the small farmers, small traders etc.
Rahul Gandhi’s continued rant on the farm laws evoked strong protests from BJP MPs, who asked him to talk on the budget, reminding that he was speaking in parliament, not in a Congress party meeting. They said that the discussion on motion of thanks for the President’s address is already over where these things were already discussed, the motion was already passed by the house, and now only the finance bills should be discussed and the discussion should be restricted to the budget.
Congress leader of the house Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury defended his leader, saying that the rules allow speaking on a general subject. However, this was strongly opposed by rulings, and this created a ruckus in the house for some time.
In the meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi continued his rant on ‘hum do hamare do’, and repeating his false allegations against the farm laws. Only two persons will be benefited, everyone else will be harmed, he kept saying.
When the Kerala MP kept attacking the farm laws amid the noise, speaker Om Prakash Birla finally intervened, and reminded him that the discussion in on the budget. To this Rahul Gandhi said that he is coming to the topic in 5 minutes, and he preparing the foundation for the same.
However, that also turned out to be a lie, as after few minutes, he said that he is not going to talk on the budget. He said that he had requested to speak only on the farmer issue separately, and as the government had not allowed it, he is not going to speak on the budget in protest.
Speaking after Rahul Gandhi, BJP MP and Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur said that he can understand that Rahul Gandhi was not prepared to speak on the budget. He said that he was not present during the budget presentation, he keeps going out of the country, therefore he was not prepared for the budget discussion.