NEW DELHI: There seems to be no end in stalemate between Centre and Opposition over three farm bills even as they have been repealed. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed the government for saying that it does not have the list of farmers who died while protesting against the three farm laws. He claimed that his party has the list and the government must pay compensation to their kin.
Addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters, Rahul Gandhi said, “A question was asked in Parliament as to whether the government wants to compensate the 700 farmers who were martyred in the farmers protest and the government answered that we have no record of these 700 people.”
Hitting out at the government, the Wayanad MP said that it turned out that we had a record of 403 people who the government of Punjab has compensated Rs 5 lakh each and we have given jobs to 152 people.
“And we also have another list in which we have 100 names from other states and the third list is with us which is a public list of which the phone numbers and addresses can easily be verified, So this list exists. But the government insists that such a list does not exist,” he said.
Firing salvos at the government, Rahul Gandhi asked, “What is the purpose? These people have died as a result of the agitation. We are not talking about lakhs or crores of rupees. We are talking about minimum compensation for the farmers who died and the Prime Minister himself has said that he has made a mistake and he has apologised.”
He said that over 700 farmers have died and you are lying about their names, why?
Why don’t you have the decency to give them what is due? The government should pay them compensation and help these families.
His remarks came two days after the Union Agriculture Ministry informed the Parliament that it had no record of the farmers who had died during the year-long farmers’ protests and hence there was no question of providing compensation to their families.
“The ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare has no record in the matter and hence the question does not arise,” the Union ministry of agriculture told the House in reply to a question asking if the Centre intends to provide financial assistance to the families of those who died during the protests.
The Opposition had criticised the Centre for passing the bill in both houses without any discussion.