Prime Minister apathetic to farmers: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the BJP government is “Kisan Virodhi” (anti-farmer) and asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi can give debt relief to the rich, then why not to farmers.

Accusing the Prime Minister of being disrespectful to farmers, Rahul Gandhi, who met Tamil Nadu farmers agitating in the capital for drought relief funds, said the plight of the drought-stricken farmers and their families did not affect the government.

“I don’t understand why this discrimination. If PM has given debt relief to the richest people in the country, why is he not ready to give debt relief to those who build this country — the farmers. He has no concern for the farmers,” Gandhi said.

“BJP government works only for a few super rich families,” he added.

The Congress leader also said it was the responsibility of the Prime Minister to listen to the farmers and solve their problems.

Pointing to the demands of the farmers — drought relief and waiving of loans, among others, Rahul Gandhi said a solution “needs to be worked out and at least a conversation needs to be started by these people”.

He also vowed to raise the issue in Parliament in support of the farmers’ cause.

“This government is ‘kisan virodhi’ (anti-farmer) and ‘garib virodhi’ (anti-poor). They (farmers) are sitting here for so many days. Neither the government nor the PM is listening to their voice,” he said.

“In the past three years, relief worth Rs 1.40 lakh crore has been given to the 50 richest families of the country. What is the farmers’ fault? Why are they not getting the support? Why aren’t their loans being waived off?”

The farmers’ protest action continued for the 18th day on Friday at Jantar Mantar where they have been protesting with skulls of farmers who have committed suicide in Tamil Nadu.

They blew conch shells as one of them lay on the ground like a corpse, which symbolised farmers’ suicide. Many were also seen with rats and snakes in their mouth as they demanded waiver of loans.

As per reports, more than 200 farmers have committed suicide in Tamil Nadu since last year’s drought.

Apart from Gandhi, DMK leader Kanimozhi also visited the agitating farmers at Jantar Mantar on Friday.

“We also took it (loan waiver) up with the Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley). The DMK has been raising this time and again in Parliament. I don’t understand why the central government is refusing to respond,” she said.