Replying to the Motion of Thanks to the president’s address in Parliament on Monday, Narendra Modi had said it was important to identify “andolan jeevis” — those living off agitations — and protect the nation from them.
The prime minister was referring to the farmers’ agitations against his government’s contentious farm laws.
Now the Congress has offered a riposte to Modi’s comment, with Rahul Gandhi tweeting that “crony-jeevi is someone who sells the country” — a reference to the government’s perceived corporate-friendly policies. In 2015, intervening in a debate in Lok Sabha on “the agrarian situation in the country”, Rahul described the government as “suit-boot ki sarkar”.
Before Rahul’s latest jibe, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted to say that he was proud to be an ‘andolan jeevi’, and the quintessential ‘andolan jeevi’ was Mahatma Gandhi.
Priyanka Gandhi attends farmers’ meeting in Saharanpur
Meanwhile, Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday attended a farmers’ meeting in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday, where she said that farmers, who had made the country atmanirbhar (self-reliant), were being made to suffer through the new farm laws.
The kisan mahapanchayat was held despite prohibitory orders banning large gatherings by the district administration. The orders were passed on Wednesday morning in the state, which has been emerging as a new hotspot for the protests.
The government does not understand farmers or what they stand for, said Priyanka, who attended the mahapanchayat as part of the Congress’ 10-day ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ campaign in 27 districts of UP, where elections will be held next year.
“They [the government] call farmers anti-national, but in reality, it is they who are anti-national,” she said.
“They call farmers agitators, extremists, and terrorists. They doubt the farmers, but the heart of the farmer can never be against the nation. The farmer’s heart, his work itself is for the land. Farmers till the land, work day and night on the land. How can they betray the nation?” said the Congress general secretary in-charge of UP.
“The prime minister had time to go to Pakistan, he had time to go to China, but he did not have time to visit the bordering areas of his own constituency and meet farmers.”