Nagpur, Jan 16 (IANS) The Maharashtra Congress led several thousands of farmers with hundreds of tractors who laid siege to the Raj Bhavan here protesting against the three farm laws as part of an all-India agitation, here on Saturday.
Simultaneously, a large number of women activists also lit bonfires on roads or lit up stoves and cooked food to protest against the runaway prices of fuel, two days after petrol prices zoomed past Rs 91 per litre in Mumbai.
Addressing the gathering, an aggressive state Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat accused the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of utter insensitivity to common masses and the farmers of the country.
“Modi, who works only in the interests of the big corporate houses, is now trying to enslave the farmers too But we will not allow that and the 3 black farm laws shall not be implemented in Maharashtra. We demand a total repeal of the laws,” Thorat thundered.
He pointed out that the farm laws were rushed through by the Modi government violating all parliamentary and democratic norms and these would prove detrimental to the interests of the farmers and the common masses.
At the same time, the ordinary citizens are facing a harrowing time as they are reeling under the continuous hikes in prices of petrol, diesel and gas, which in turn fuels inflation across all sectors of the economy, Thorat said.
“Lakhs of farmers are protesting outside Delhi under trying weather conditions for the last 50 days and more than 60 of them have lost their lives, but the government remains completely indifferent to their plight. There is nothing in the three laws that benefits the farmers, but the government is only concerned with the interests of the big corporates,” Thorat said.
Similarly, despite a massive over 50 per cent fall in the prices of crude oil in the international markets, the government continues to burden the common man with fuel price hikes and these also should be rolled back, he said.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Energy Minister Nitin Raut, Dairy Development Minister Sunil Kedar, Women & Child Welfare Minister Yashomati Thakur, Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, while top state Congress leaders also attended the protests.
The Congress has warned that if the Centre does not repeal the farm laws and roll back the fuel prices hike, it will further intensify the agitation across the state, said a spokesperson.