Rahul Gandhi to widen protest against farm legislations

Rahul Gandhi is likely to hold tractor rally first in Chhattisgarh, which is considered the rice bowl of India with its high paddy production and procurement.

BCCL
Rahul nGandhi has been protesting against the new legislation.
After taking to the streets in Punjab against the newly-notified farm legislations, Rahul Gandhi would begin similar protests in Congress-ruled states of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan this month.

The party has begun preparations for tractor rallies to be led by Gandhi against the farm legislations. The rallies are likely after October 10 seeing the spread of Covid-19. Gandhi is likely to hold tractor rally first in Chhattisgarh, which is considered the rice bowl of India with its high paddy production and procurement.

Though the state has not seen any farmer protests, the state Congress has attributed it to lockdown in place in several districts. A senior Congress functionary told ET that with lockdown expected to be removed in phased manner in the state, Gandhi is expected to hit the rural areas of the Congress-ruled states by next week. The state units are considering several routes for the tractor rallies including Dhamtari to Raipur and other areas where agriculture is the prime source of income in villages.


Similar tractor rallies may be planned in Rajasthan, especially in Kota-Bundi area, which is considered a BJP stronghold and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s home turf. The Hadoti region has been in a perpetual cycle of farm distress. In 2018, this belt had witnessed farmers suicides after a bumper garlic crop had pushed the prices down to Re 1 a kilo for farmers.

The rallies would culminate in special Assembly sessions in Congress-ruled states where the governments are likely to bring special legislation to negate the Centre’s farm legislations. A model Bill -- Farmers Right and Special Security Provision Bill 2020 – has been circulated to the states by All India Congress Committee. This follows Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s advice to Congress-ruled states to explore the possibility of passing a law under Article 254(2) of the Constitution, which allows the state legislatures to pass a law, “to negate the anti-agriculture central laws encroaching upon state’s jurisdiction under the Constitution”.
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