The claim by Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “arrogant” when he met him to discuss the farmer protests and that he ended up having an argument with him Monday became fodder for the opposition Congress to mount a scathing attack on the Prime Minister.
The Congress asked PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to break their silence on the revelations made by Malik.
“If Governor Malik is lying, please sack him today and register an FIR against him. And if he is not lying, then Prime Minister Modi must come forward, Home Minister Amit Shah must come forward and apologise to India’s farmers and farm labourers. Otherwise, they will never pardon you,” Congress communication department head Randeep Singh Surjewala said at a press conference.
He said the entire nation was “stunned and shocked” reading the text of the conversation between Governor Malik and PM Modi on the farmers’ agitation. He said the real face of Modi and the BJP government stood exposed today.
“The anti-farmer face of Prime Minister Modi, the insensitive face of Prime Minister Modi…the real face of BJP and the Government which only works for crony capitalist friends to the peril of India’s farmers and farm laborers now stands exposed,” he said.
Addressing a social function at Dadri in Haryana Sunday, Malik had said, “Main jab kisano ke mamle me Pradhan Mantri ji se milane gaya, to meri panch minute mein ladai ho gayi unse. Woh bahut ghamand mein the. Jab maine unse kaha, hamare 500 log mar gaye… to usne kaha, mere liye mare hain? (Maine) kaha aapke liye hi to mare the, jo aap raja bane huye ho… Mera jhagda ho gaya. Unhone kaha aab aap Amit Shah se mil lo. Main Amit Shah se mila… (When I went to meet the Prime Minister to discuss the farmer issue, I ended up fighting with him within five minutes. He was very arrogant. When I told him that 500 of our own (farmers) had died… he said, ‘Did they die for me?’ I told him yes, since you are the king. I ended up having an argument with him. He told me to meet Amit Shah and I did).”
Surjewala said “never in the history of this country has a prime minister dared to say such a thing about the country’s farmers and farm labourers.”
“Mr. Prime Minister, is this the language that the person holding the highest public office and elected by the farmers and farm labourers uses for them. Those farmers didn’t die for BJP, they did not die for Prime Minister Modi. They died to protect the food security of this country. They died so that justice could be done to the 62 crore farmers and farm labourers of this country. And to dishonour their memory by none less than the prime minister himself is most regrettable and condemnable,” Surjewala said.
The Congress also demanded that compensation be announced to the next of kin of 700 farmers who died during the year-long farmers’ agitation.
“The Government should also give governments jobs to a member of their families and also announce withdrawal of every single criminal case registered falsely against farmers from Uttar Pradesh to Haryana. It should also announce constitution of the committee to decide on the compulsory MSP architecture….and ensure that the committee delivers the report within the next 30 days,” he said.