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Shed ego, says Rahul to Modi, as Cong backs farmers' protest

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today put its weight behind farmers and tribals protesting in Mumbai, as urged and Devendra "not to stand on ego" but to accept the demonstrators' "just demands".

The massive farmers' march to was a "stunning example of people's power", Gandhi said on

The Congress, he added, stood with farmers and tribals marching in protest against the "apathy" of the Central and state governments.

"I appeal to PM Modi and the CM to not stand on ego and to accept their just demands," Gandhi tweeted.

At the AICC briefing, communications in-charge and RPN alleged that the peasant community in every state was agitating against the and that farmers' suicides had risen by 41.7 per cent under the Modi regime.

Accusing the BJP governments of countering farmers with "lathis" (sticks) and "bullets", the party said this was not the first instance of their anti-attitude and showed the "real face" of the saffron party.

"This government is forcing farmers to commit suicide and befooling them on farm loan waivers," Surjewala told reporters.

There has been a 41.7 per cent rise in suicides under the and tops the list of such deaths, Surjewala said, quoting data.

On an average, 47 farmers committed suicide every day in 2017, he claimed.

From January 1 to October 31, 2017, there were 2,414 suicides in alone, he added.

"While on the one hand the is waiving thousands of crores of rupees in loans taken by their industrialist friends, it is apathetic to the demands of farmers for loan waivers. Consequently, around 50,000 farmers are marching in protest in to gherao the Maharashtra Assembly," Surjewala said.

The was shedding "crocodile tears" for farmers and had inflicted a "double whammy" on farmers, with agri-exports reducing and imports rising, he said, citing figures.

He also alleged that the government had imported 57.5 lakh tonnes of wheat and 606 lakh tonnes of pulses, despite enough domestic production to cater to demands.

"The Modi government is anti-farmer, and that is the slogan resonating among farmers across the country," added.

said today his government was "sensitive and positive" towards the demands of farmers and tribals, who marched from to to draw the administration's attention towards their problems.

was responding to a discussion in the Assembly, initiated by of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who lauded the farmers for their peaceful protest.

The Azad Maidan in South Mumbai turned into a sea of red this morning as thousands of farmers, carrying red flags, converged there after walking around 180km from neighbouring district over the last six days.

The farmers demand an unconditional loan waiver and transfer of forest land to tribal farmers who have been tilling it for years.

The CPI(M)-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha is spearheading the protest.

The has also lent its support to the farmers' stir.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 21:40 IST