Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running the country on a “hum do hamare do” (we two, our two) policy, Congress’s Rahul Gandhi said in parliament today in one of his sharpest takedowns of the BJP-led government. This policy, he said, has been in play in demonetisation, Goods and Services tax, lockdown and most recently, the three farm laws passed in September that have had the farmers across the country up in arms.
“You all must remember the saying we used for family planning — ‘Hum do, humare do’. This government has given that slogan a new meaning. The country is run by four people. ‘Hum do, aur humaare do’,” said the leader, who has so far kept his attacks on the BJP confined mostly to Twitter.
Mr Gandhi, however, did not name anyone, declaring instead “everyone knows them”.
The farmers’ protest, he said, is not all that it appears. It is struggle for survival for many others too. “You all feel that this is a farmers’ protest, but you all are very wrong. This is India’s protest… the farmers are just leading the way,” he said.
This is because the farm laws, he said, will not only ruin farmers, but finish the middlemen and have a “devastating effect” on small shopkeepers, small businessmen. It will be a “massive blow” to small and medium enterprise, which will “destroy” India’s rural economy.
“India will not be able to generate growth, generate jobs… all because the backbone of our nation will have been destroyed for the benefit of ‘Hum do, aur humaare do’,” Mr Gandhi added amid loud protests from BJP members.
There was constant heckling and disruptions from BJP MPs as Rahul Gandhi progressed with his speech. To BJP members’ insistence that he stick to the subject of the debate – budget – Mr Gandhi responded, “Agriculture is also part of the budget”.
“The intent of the first farm law is to ensure that farmers’ produce is sold to a top few industrialists – one of whom is known by all as the government’s first friend. The intent of the second farm law is to ensure the benefits of the law go to the second friend,” Mr Gandhi said.
“The intent of the government is clear – they want to break the backbone of India by breaking the farmer, labourer, small shop owners, middleman, and feed the pieces to these friends – the top industrialists,” added the Congress leader, whose party has been firmly backing the farmers’ protest.
“The farmers and labourers of this nation will destroy you. You will never win against them. The farmers will not move an inch back… you will have to repeal these laws. You will lose in the end, that is certain,” he added.
The BJP’s Anurag Thakur, who followed Mr Gandhi, hit out saying that the Congress leader could not speak on the budget as he was not prepared.
“How would they (be prepared)? They are hardly seen in the House. Even during the Budget, they were missing for a long time. How would they be able to speak about it? Some people stay less in Parliament, just like they stay less in the country. Even as I am speaking, these people are leaving the Parliament because they are not in a habit of sitting in Parliament,” he said.