Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lashed out at the government for overlooking agricultural distress in the budget discussion in Rajya Sabha. He said the farmers in the country are suffering and the government was a mere spectator to their atrocities and added that no concrete steps were taken in the Union Budget 2019.

Gandhi also claimed that farmers across the country were finally speaking for themselves and highlighted the 18 farmer suicide cases in Kerala. He also urged the Centre in his speech to direct the Reserve Bank of India to consider the moratorium by the Kerala government and ensure that banks don’t threaten have been served to 8,000 farmers in Wayanad for non-payment of loans and that their properties were also attacked against the bank loans, which was resulting in a surge in farmers’ suicide.

Rejecting Gandhi’s claims, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken several initiatives for the farmers and added that the BJP has done quite enough for them which was evident from drop in farmers’ suicide in the country.

While veteran Congress leader and former finance minister P.Chidamabaram took the opportunity to highlight the drawbacks from Budget 2019. He said there wasn’t a single structural reform in the entire budget speech and claimed that the Manmohan Singh-led government brought-in at least 11 structural reforms, unlike the incumbent government. He also attacked the government for not taking bold measures to combat unemployment. He said the gravity of unemployment was evident from the ever-growing unemployment rate.

He also told the House that the Centre was showing people ‘pie in the sky’ by talking about the goal of achieving a $5 trillion economy by 2020-25. He added that as long as the rate of growth is 11 per cent, the rate of the economy will continue to double every five or six years.


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