The entire country is being pushed, killed and beaten
Extracts of the Press Briefing on 6th October, 2020
Shri Rahul Gandhi, Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala and Captain Amarinder Singh, were present at circuit house, Patiala, Punjab.
AICC General Secretary and Media In-charge, Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala briefed the media and said, “I apologize for the slight delay in the press conference. Representatives of many farmers, our Dalit brothers and sisters, came today to meet Rahul ji and Captain Amarinder Singh ji. There has been a slight delay. First of all, I welcome our leader Honorable Rahul Gandhi ji, Captain Amarinder Singh ji, Sunil Jakhar ji, Harish Rawat ji and all the representatives present on the stage, to the press conference. I also welcome all the journalists and the cinematographers.
Today there is an uneven situation in the country, when fields and barns have been attacked. Shri Rahul Gandhi has made a historic beginning of a ‘Save Agriculture’ journey against the three black laws, under the Congress Party’s and the Farmers’ flag. You had started the same with Bhatta Parsaul, against the Modi government’s maliciousness to abolish the fair compensation law of the land and now you have started the same against these three black laws. Without any further delay, I would request esteemed Rahul Gandhi ji to speak to you.
Shri Rahul Gandhi said- Thank you Randeep ji, Amarinder Singh ji, Jakhar ji, Praneet Kaur ji, our senior leader of Congress party Harish Rawat ji, our friends from the press, you are most welcome here.
As you know, our visit is against these three black laws. These laws which the Prime Minister has made, is a way to eliminate, to destroy the Existing Structure, the Existing Structure of Food Security. Brothers and sisters, the way Narendra Modi ji brought demonetization, followed by GST and at the time of Corona, he did not help farmers, laborers, small businesses. Similarly, this too is an attack on the farmers and we will stop that attack, we will fight against these laws.
Haryana and Punjab suffer the most from this. If the MSP disappears, if the existing structure breaks, then Punjab will not find a way in the future. So, in a way we are protecting farmers and people of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan.
On a question that you were going to Hathras on ‘Beti Bachao Mission’, we saw how the police pushed you, scuffled with Priyanka ji, FIRs have been filed against about 500 Congress workers, FIRs have also been lodged against journalists, What will you say on this attitude of the Yogi Govt.?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said that the entire country is being pushed, killed and beaten. I got a slight push, so what’s the big deal, it doesn’t matter. It’s not a big deal, our job is to protect the people of the country, it is our job to stand with the farmers of the country. There is such a government, if we stand up, we will be pushed, it will resort to lathis, that’s alright. We will bear all that. The jolt, the real shock, which was unimaginable to that family, just think about it! Do you have a daughter? (asked the journalist) (The journalist replied while saying-I have a son), you have a son, you don’t have a daughter, so maybe you will not understand this. People, who have daughters, will understand it. You might not understand the rape aspect because that is something that Indian women have to deal with, you will certainly understand the murder aspect. Suppose someone killed your son and then when you ask for justice, they locked open your house and then DM came to your house and kicked you and threatened you and told you that if you open your mouth, the entire state of UP will sort you out and then told you - don’t worry, all these protestors, they will go away, Rahul Gandhi will go away, but, we will be here. Now, you get a feeling, get a sense of how you would feel, that is how that family felt. That is why I want to tell, because I wanted that family to know that they are not alone.
That is why I went there and I told the family that I have not come just for you, I have come for your daughter, I have come for you, but I have also come here for the millions of women in the country, who are the victims of insolence each passing day, for the thousands of women who are raped, I have come here for them too. The interesting thing is that the child is raped, murdered, the entire administration attacks the family, but the Prime Minister of the country does not say a word, it is an interesting thing.
On another question that you say about the three ordinances of the farmers, that the Central Government passed without consulting the farmers, without taking the Political Party in confidence. Now because there is agitation in Punjab and Haryana, but Narendra Modi and his government always make fun of it?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said the matter is - you first attacked the small and medium business, you destroyed them, then you helped two or three of your friends during the time of Covid, you waived off lakhs and crores of rupees for them. The workers were walking home thousands of kilometers, there was no water, no food, you did not utter a word. You did not give them a warning, did not even give a day’s warning. Sitting in the room you said there would be lockdown, locked the country down, they died, 100-200 people died casually. You have abolished the small and medium businesses, which are the backbone of the country, which employ this country. But you see, I talked about Corona in February, he said, Rahul Gandhi is joking. Now see for yourselves, who understands and who does not. One person is telling you, in February, that the economy of India is going to be hurt very badly from Corona and another person is saying that the battle will be won in 22 days. Who has a better understanding, you have to judge that. I will never say, a person says that the fight will be over in 22 days, he does not even know what Corona is, what the country is or how it runs. Even at that time, he was making fun of me and now I am telling you and you write it down, he will still make fun of me, but remember what I am saying today, even after 6 months. I will tell you two things- Firstly, this country will not be able to provide employment to its youth. Narendra Modi Ji has broken this structure. Now Narendra Modi ji is going to break the structure of farming. If Narendra Modi ji breaks the farming structure, then on one hand there will be no employment, on the other there will be no food. Now they will make fun of me, let them do so. After 6 months, like today I am talking about February, after 6 months you can see, okay. It is a system, it is the system of food security, it is the MSP, it is the food distribution system, the procurement system, the mandis, it is a kind of fort of the food security of the farmer, it protects. There are shortcomings in the fort, I am not saying that there are no deficiencies, there are fewer mandis, corruption is there, infrastructure should be better, but if you break the fort, the farmer cannot survive. Now why is Narendra Modi ji breaking the fort, why did Narendra Modi ji do GST, why did Narendra Modi ji demonetize, why did Narendra Modi ji not help the poor during Corona? I can give two names - Ambani and Adani. This is Triangular Group, the work of Adani, Modi, Ambani and Narendra Modi is to clear the way. He has been ordered to end small and medium businesses, eliminate farmers, eliminate laborers and open ways for them. Now who is joking, you have to decide that.
This will affect the food security system. When you buy food grains in the market, the price you get, you get that price because it is a structure. When the poor person is given a ration, that ration is given because it is a structure. If you break the structure itself, then in the coming times even you will be charged. It’s just, look, people said that yes, okay. If GST was done, then what is our loss, the small and medium businesses will be damaged, but what damage would be caused to the consumer? But there will be damage. When it collapses, you will collapse. Everything in India is connected and if you touch one thing, the other thing will be affected. I give another example - Narendra Modi Ji said that nobody had taken the land of India, you must have heard. The Opposition leaders were told that no one took the land of Hindustan. Then how did China take 1200 square kilometers of our land, how did they take it, because China knows that this person who is in power, he only protects his image. He will give us 1200 square kilometers of land to save his image. You are nodding, the whole country knows. Ask any soldier of the army, ask the General, they will tell you that Narendra Modi ji lied to the country to save his image. Talking about Bharat Mata, Narendra Modi ji gave 1200 square kilometers of Bharat Mata to China, to save his image. This is reality, believe it or not. What does Narendra Modi Ji say about this? Call him in a press conference, call him openly, talk to him, why is he so afraid of you?
I tell you why he is afraid, I thought about it. Reason is this, he is afraid of China for this reason, he is afraid of you for this reason too - he thinks China will spoil his image, he thinks journalists will spoil his image. Narendra Modi only has interest in his image. He will go into the tunnel, go alone, will be waving, there is a complete monopoly over media, he thinks that media will show me in the tunnel, he only has an obsession with his image. He has got nothing to do with what is happening in India. My feeling is that maybe Narendra Modi ji does not understand these three laws at all. This is my assessment.
On another question that you are constantly saying that GST, lockdown and demonetization are the failures of the government, BJP says that these are our achievements?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said that ok tell me that the 1200 kilometers he has given to China, is that his achievement too? They are saying that this is their achievement, we have given 1200 square kilometers to China. Tell me one thing, do not even ask me, you go to any small businessman, go to a shopkeeper and ask him whether GST has benefited or hurt him? Is it an achievement or a failure? Then ask him, brother, tell me one thing that has this demonetization benefited you, or caused you loss? I have talked to the small shopkeepers, talked to the traders, talked to the farmers, they say that these laws have destroyed us. You go, go out of here a little, ask farmers, ask the farmers of Punjab, who is roaming on tractors, blocking roads. If it was an achievement, why is he standing outside, why is he not bursting firecrackers?
On a question that do you think that the general perception that, BJP is doing everything that they can just because the opposition is not united across many states and especially in Delhi and at the center?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said- The opposition in any country functions within a framework. What is that framework? The framework is the press, the framework is the judicial system, the framework is our institutions that protect the voice of the people, this is the framework. That entire framework has been captured. The entire architecture of giving voice to the people of India has been captured and controlled by the BJP, you know that. In fact, you come from one of the newspapers that exhort a little bit of independence, that is not the case with most TV channels and newspapers.
So, if the entire architecture of institutional architecture is captured, then to say the opposition is weak and that’s not really a correct statement. Give me a free press, give me institutions that are free and the Government will not last, I don’t have that. I can prove, for example the Rafale deal. I don’t show it. So, at the certain level, frankly you are also not doing your job and if it’s Okay for you to blame the opposition and say well you know the opposition is weak but, my friend you are also walking into slavery. You are also walking into a place where you will become very uncomfortable. I am fighting for it, you in your own way. I am sure you are also fighting with, but it is a bigger thing that has happened. Today, I mean it is quite amazing, I don’t think there is any other country in the world today, wherein another country can occupy 12 hundred square kilometers of its land and the media says nothing. I don’t think, there is any other country, I mean. I am thinking about it, I mean, even you know the weakest country, they will make a noise in India, they don’t make a noise, the whole things captured.
I went to UP. A girl is raped, her neck is broken, administration is attacking the family, it is amazing. It is the result of a complete capture of the soul of this country and it is a forcible capture. If it was captured with affection, I would be the first to stand by but, it is a forcible scam that is what we are fighting and you will see, this fight will become more and more aggressive.
On another question that you went to Uttar Pradesh, you have come to Punjab, you were talking to the taxi driver during the lockdown. Whenever you go anywhere you raise an issue. There is a word from BJP which is political tourism. It seems that whenever you try to highlight an issue, it is deviated in some other direction. Now the Uttar Pradesh government is saying that there is an international conspiracy to defame the UP government. In Hathras or here, you were being asked a question that you were sitting on that cushioned tractor?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said that no, but this question will never be asked why Narendra Modi ji bought two ships worth 8 thousand crores rupees, one billion dollars. 8 thousand crores! Leave behind a cushion, it is a full bed, meaning not a bed, there will be 50 beds in it. Nobody says that brother, our Prime Minister bought a ship worth 8 thousand crores because his friend Trump has a ship worth 8 thousand crores. Nobody even says that. But they definitely say that brother, Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder Singh ji went there, sitting on the tractor and then someone put a cushion beneath them.
In response to another question related to this, Shri Rahul Gandhi said, look, I do my work. Like I have said, media is captured, Institutional structure is captured, there is dominance. But the persecution of farmers, the attack on small and medium businesses, the attack on the future of the youth, there is no dominance, I work there. Now somewhere, the youth of India will see that brother, here Narendra Modi is waving in the tunnel, but I do not have even to eat, what is he waving in the tunnel at when I do not have anything to eat, when I do not have an employment, I do not see any future. So, at some time or the other, the reality shows up. I am a patient man. I will stop for a while.
On another question, as your party says, your workers say that when you come to power, your Congress becomes the government, then there are three bills that you have said that you will stop them, even if you stop them, the position that is now, the position is already bad, suicides are happening, what plan have you got for that, to save the farmer?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said that if you read our manifesto and I can send a copy of it, it is clearly written in it that we will strengthen the food security system. Today there is a mandi within a 40 km radius, we will bring mandis within 4 km radius. We will try to improve this system and its shortcomings, but we will not break this system, because we know that if we broke this system, farmers will be destroyed. Now it is a simple matter, Narendra Modi ji probably does not understand, does not know that if you break the system, if you break the entire agricultural system, then where is the farmer’s protection? So, the Philosophy that we had, that we know that there are shortcomings in the mandis, we know that there is corruption, but we want to reform this system, that is a complex matter, not an easy case. Narendra Modi Ji does not want to accept the true challenge. Narendra Modi ji says, brother, let me blow it. Now black money, it is a difficult challenge. Narendra Modi ji does not want to accept that challenge. He says that I have demonetized, the challenge is over.
Amarinder Singh ji is sitting now, we just organized a meeting inside, we will provide employment to the youth of Punjab, it is not a simple matter. It will not be resolved by catchy phrase. Quite a complex discussion was going on inside, this way, this is to be done, that has to be done. So, India will have to accept this reality, truth will have to be accepted.
On another question that you have been mentioning in your speeches that you will save the federal structure, you are fighting this for saving the federal structure. The Punjabi Sub a movement in Punjab was also for strengthening the federal structure and it was crushed and partly it is blamed on Congress Party also, so why Punjab and Punjabi should trust you on this?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said- Punjabis should see my actions and I can tell you, if you look at my political career, you can see my actions. Don’t look at my words. I came to Punjab and I have learnt a lot from the Punjabi people, in fact, if you want to ask me, you have given me more than I have given you. So, I have in a sense, owe a debt to you.
So, in my mind, I believe that the people of this state, they have a particular spirit. That spirit has taught me quite a lot. I will tell you a small story. I remember and this has never left my system, in my mind ever, it will never leave. I remember when in 1977, my grandmother lost an election, there was no one in my house, no body, but there was a sikh in my house. She was protected by sikhs in 1977, I will never forget that. So, I have in my mind, it is a strange thing, but there is a debt that I feel. I owe the people of Punjab, it is strange in the similar way, I feel I owe debt to the people of Tamil Nadu. I don’t know why, but I have that feeling inside so that is the first thing.
Second thing is, look at my actions, land acquisition bill, I fought, I got beaten up, I got abused. Niyamgiri, I fought, I got beaten up, I got abused. MGNREGA, abused. Farm bill, I am standing in front of the farm bill. I am standing with the people of Punjab and saying- look, I have come here, I am standing with you, I understand this is a risk for your future. So, you look at my actions, you will see that I am a person who instinctively, I feel when I see some injustice is being done, I feel for that person, instinctively. If you see one strong man beating a weak man, automatically, I am on the side of the weak. This may be of feeling; in fact, this is why I get beaten up so much in politics. It might be feeling that every time I am also thinking myself, why, but I have that inside. If I feel that injustice is being done to Punjab, I will be standing on Punjab’s side, no matter what. If I feel injustice is being done to the Dalit Girl in UP, I will go there, I will get 2-3 lathis, no problem, that is my nature. That is what I have been taught, I don’t know any other way and frankly, I can see right now, that my political path would have been much easier, If I didn’t have this. But it is there. Now how shall I get rid of it? That’s why the people of Punjab should trust me.
On another question that these three ordinances of farmers that have come, not only 15 crore farmers, 75 crore PDS beneficiaries will be affected. Second, Modi ji says that these ordinances that are coming, farmers will benefit from this. Mandis will not end, then what is the problem?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said that if the farmers were to be benefited then why did Narendra Modi ji not make a debate in Parliament House? Both the parties would have spoken there. If there was a benefit, during the time of Corona, when the farmers, when they know that the farmer will not be able to come out, we are going to Haryana today, the government is saying that it is the time of Corona, when they know that the farmer will not be able to resist, then why did he pass this bill? Why doesn’t Narendra Modi Ji sit in such a press conference to say that it is in the favor of farmers. Why does he not come and speak in Punjab? Why does he not stand with the farmers of Punjab? first question.
Like I said, this is a system. This system is the food security system of India. This will not only harm the farmers but, it will also harm the consumers. Farmers will lose their land; they will not get the right price. Narendra Modi ji says, there is no need of a mandi, there are thousands of mandis in India. Workers work in mandis, there are small traders, farmers, there are loaders, what will happen to them in India? Ambani ji - Adani ji will automate, will install machines. What will happen to these millions of people, who work in the agricultural system? They will all become slaves. So, this is the reality.
On another question that Narendra Modi Ji says that the previous governments lacked will, so he implemented the three bills, when he went to the tunnel, then after that, because the previous government could not implement them. And the questions are constantly being raised, whether it is the state’s manifesto, the election manifesto, whether in 2019 your manifesto was that you raised the APMC Act with a lot of noise. What do you think? Whether in the coming times, will it be demolished or are you still standing by the manifesto?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said that it was clear in our manifesto that we will develop the agricultural system. There were probably 7 points in it, if you look at the points, in that we said that we will develop the farmers’ market. In it we had said that within every 4 kilometer we will put a mandi. In that we had said that the infrastructure will be made from farm-to-farm. We did not say anywhere that we will destroy the entire food security system. With these three laws, Narendra Modi Ji has destroyed the entire food security system. That is why, the farmers of Punjab are standing and so, we are having a press conference here.
On another question, whether the session is ever being called for this, Shri Amarinder Singh said that yes, the special session as well as legal. We will do whatever is needed.
Shri Surjewala added that what venerable Rahul Gandhi Ji said, if you look at the Congress manifesto of 2019, if you read its point number -7, clause number -12, then there is a complete blueprint of Farmers’ Market.
On another question that the Akalis are asking you five questions in Punjab, that what were you doing abroad when the farm bills were passed in the Parliament, you were not even here for the farm bill.
Shri Rahul Gandhi said- My mother had gone for medical checkup and my sister couldn’t go with her because some members of our staff have Covid, so that is why, I was with my mother, helping her through medical checkup. I am her son also after all and I have to look after my mother.
The other thing, is yes, of course, which the Akalis wouldn’t tell you, is that they have worked with the BJP. They have worked with BJP for years and when these three bills were being passed, they were being helped by the Akali dals. So, this is well known to the entire farmer community of Punjab.
On another question that Yogi Adityanath, the CM of UP has said that the Hathras rape was an international conspiracy, what do you think about that?
Shri Rahul Gandhi said- I mean, Yogi Ji is entitled to his opinion. He is more than welcome to imagine whatever he wants to imagine. If I see there, a lovely girl was molested, neck was broken, her family was threatened. The people who did it, no actions were taken against them. Shri Yogi sees it as an international conspiracy, well, that is fine, that is his prerogative. What I saw, was a tragedy. The Chief Minister of UP should have had the decency to say this is a tragedy and I will look into it and I will protect the family of this girl.