Rajasthan Congress leader Sachin Pilot accused the Centre of being indifferent to the plight of the farmers even as Parliament is in session and said raising a voice in support of the farmers is not a crime in a democracy.
Pilot claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech in the Rajya Sabha on Monday during the motion of thanks to the President's address had failed to properly acknowledge the issues due to which the farmers were protesting.
Modi had on Monday slammed those abusing agitating Sikh farmers, saying it would not do the country any good as he went on to appeal to the protesting farmers to call off their over two-month-long stir, assuring them of continuing with the purchase of crops at an administered price or MSP.
"Parliament session is on and there was some hope, but the government has neglected the farmer," Pilot said at a farmer 'mahapanchayat' (large congregation) in Bayana town of Bharatpur district.
Pilot said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi would visit Rajasthan on Friday and Saturday to address farmers' meetings.
"There has not been a single incident of any bad behaviour, hooliganism or untoward incident of breaking of law by any protesting farmers across Delhi borders," Pilot said.
The former deputy chief minister said that what happened at the Red Fort on the Republic day was condemnable and the culprits should be punished, but the farmers have held the sit-in peacefully.
Earlier in the day, Pilot told reporters in Dausa that while the BJP government had promised to double the farmers' income, it was "standing against" the tillers in a time of crisis. "Farmers of the country want to remind the party of its promises," he said.
"Raising farmers' voice is not a crime in a democracy. The Congress is with farmers and will continue to support them," he said.
Modi had on Monday also slammed the mushrooming of a new "breed" of 'andolan jivi' -- professional protestors -- who can be seen at every agitation, adding that "parasites feast on every agitation".
Pilot said the Centre "should abandon its adamant attitude and withdraw the anti-farmer laws which were made without consulting state governments and were imposed on the farmers".
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