New Delhi, July 4: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is back from his 18-day-long vacation. Recently, Rahul visited Italy to meet his grandmother and other family members.
Wondering what Rahul is up to now? As per reports, the Congress VP is all set to be a part of farmers' protest rallies in states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Some of the states, where Rahul will address farmers' rallies are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, to name a few. Along with the BJP-ruled states, the Congress plans to organise agitations and rallies in Tamil Nadu as well.
Rahul will kick-start a massive outreach programme on agrarian distress, Congress members told The Economic Times.
The Congress state units in these states will be holding public meetings and dharnas to highlight problems faced by farmers and the farm sector.
The Congress' campaign to address agrarian crisis will end with various public rallies of Rahul. "There was a break after Rahulji went abroad but the party has not lost any momentum.
The public meetings and protest marches are on in the states. These will continue and finally end with rallies of the Congress VP," a senior Congress leader told The Economic Times.
The issue of farmers' distress hogged the limelight in the early part of June when farmers across MP and Maharashtra conducted massive protests demanding loan waiver and better prices for their crops. The protests turned violent when five farmers were killed in a police firing in Mandsaur, MP.
In fact, Rahul tried to visit Mandsaur to meet the families of the deceased farmers, but the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government stopped his entry in the MP-Rajasthan border citing law and order problem.
In spite of farm loan waiver announced by states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, farmers are committing suicides across various parts of the country. "Suicides are continuing. We need to bring out the distress," a Congress leader said.
During these protest rallies by the Congress, the issue of impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on farming community will be also addressed. According to the Congress, the new tax regime which was ushered in by the Narendra Modi government on the intervening night of June 30-July 1 is different from what the former UPA-government had given shape to.
Currenyly, Congress workers are analysing the cost impact of the GST on farm sector including cost of tractors, implements and agricultural inputs.