Congress attacks govt over fertiliser, diesel price hike

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New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) The Congress on Wednesday attacked the Narendra Modi government over a hike in fertiliser prices, and said this will put an additional burden of Rs 20,000 crore on the farmers.

Party leader Rahul Gandhi said the government has increased the prices of fertilisers, petrol and diesel, and lowered agri subsidies and income of farmers.

'What did Modi government increase? GST and petrol, diesel and fertiliser prices; income of 'Modi's friends'; atrocities on 'annadatas' even during the pandemic,' he said in a tweet in Hindi, citing a news report about the rise in diesel and fertiliser prices.

'What did it reduce? Agricultural subsidy, farmer's income and dignity of the central government,' Gandhi added.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala too slammed the government during a virtual press conference, saying its mindset is 'anti-farmer' and it is conspiring to 'loot' farmers by increasing prices of farm inputs.

He also alleged that the government wants to punish farmers for continuing their agitation to seek withdrawal of the three farm laws.

The government wants to hand over farming to 'corporate friends', Surjewala claimed.

'Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government are bent upon destroying farming and is proving to be an enemy of farmers. It seems that PM Modi is conspiring to enslave 62 crore farmers and labourers,' he told reporters.

Having brought the three farm laws during the pandemic, 'the Modi government, which is 'anti-farmer', has now increased prices of DAP and other fertilisers that will put an additional burden of Rs 20,000 crore on farmers across the country,' Surjewala alleged.

'We demand that the government immediately rolls back the hike in prices of fertilisers,' he said.

The Congress leader also alleged that the government wants to destroy farming and hand over its control to a few selected industrialists.

'The aim of the Modi government is to make farming difficult and unremunerative so that farmers surrender and hand over their land to industrialists,' he said, adding that the three farm laws were brought with this intention.

'But, farmers will continue their struggle, and the Congress party will support them in every step,' Surjewala said, adding that farmers have never bowed down before anyone in the past and will not do so now.

He claimed that the people have now seen the real face of the BJP and will give a befitting lesson to the party in the next elections.

The Congress leader said the price of a 50-kg pack of DAP fertiliser has been raised from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,900, and claimed that such a hike has never happened in over 70 years.

Surjewala claimed that the government has also imposed GST on farm products and other inputs used in the agriculture sector. PTI SKC IJT

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