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Farmers in crisis as PM Modi not paying attention: Congress

IANS | New Delhi |

The Congress on Friday accused the government of working for the rich but neglecting the poor and said the country's farmers are in the "throes of a serious crisis but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is paying no attention to their plight".

Congress workers will fully support party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's battle in favour of farmers, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said here.

The opposition party also protested against Rahul Gandhi's detention while on way to Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur town to meet the kin of five farmers killed in police firing on Tuesday. The party said the preventive detention is "akin to murder of democracy".

Rahul Gandhi was on Thursday detained by police in Neemuch district bordering Rajasthan when he tried to defy ban orders enforced in Mandsaur district. 

"Madhya Pradesh farmers are holding a peaceful protest to seek redressal of their demands, but police used bullets to silence their voice," Maken said at a public meeting held to protest against the killing of five Madhya Pradesh farmers.

Slamming the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government in Madhya Pradesh, Maken said: "When Rahul Gandhi went to meet the family members of the dead farmers to express condolence, he was illegally arrested, which is akin to murder of democracy." 

Maken also accused the Narendra Modi government of working for the benefit of the rich.

"On the one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working for the benefit of only the rich, on the other hand, Rahul Gandhi is waging a battle for farmers, labourers, tribals and the weaker sections, not only inside Parliament but also at the ground level," the former Union Minister said.

"The Centre has written off debts of Rs 1,54,000 crore of rich friends of Modi, but it has not written off even Rs 70 crore debt of farmers."

Maken said the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the helm, had written off farmer debts of Rs 70,000 crore to reduce the burden on them.

He alleged that the government earlier remained unmoved by protests by farmers from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka at Jantar Mantar here.

Maken said the government had done nothing to write off farmer debts and ensure remunerative prices for farm produce.