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There's no democracy in India, it is only in imagination: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi


New Delhi, Dec 24: There is "no democracy in India" and it exists "only in imagination", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and demanded a joint session of Parliament to repeal the three new agri laws.

Rahul Gandhi

He said anyone standing against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, be it farmers, labourers or even RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, will be dubbed a terrorist. If the Prime Minister does not repeal the contentious farm laws, the country will suffer, Gandhi said.

"India is now an imaginary democracy," the Congress leader tweeted after he met Kovind and said he took the voice of farmers to the President. Gandhi along with Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury met President Kovind and handed over to him a memorandum signed by two crore farmers seeking withdrawal of the three legislations.

Gandhi said he told the President that the new agri laws are anti-farmer and that the farmers and labourers will suffer due to them.

"The government said these laws are in favour of the farmers, but the country is seeing that it is the farmers who are against these legislations. The farmers (camping at Delhi borders) will not return till these laws are repealed. The government should convene a joint session of Parliament and repeal these laws," he told reporters after meeting the President.

"If you destroy the agri system... There will be massive destruction. The way the agri laws were passed in the Monsoon session of Parliament in September, without any discussion and consultation, they need to be withdrawn," he said, noting that his party also wants reforms in the agriculture sector but not by destroying the prevalent system.

The farmers are in pain and also dying and the prime minister will have to listen to them, the Congress leader said and asserted that all opposition parties are standing in solidarity with the farmers. Launching a scathing attack on PM Modi, the former Congress president alleged that anyone "trying to take power from him will be dubbed as terrorist and anti-national".

"PM Modi's only aim is to benefit 3-4 crony capitalists and anyone standing in this way will be dubbed as anti-national, terrorist or criminal. If farmers are standing against him, they are dubbed as terrorists. If labourers stand, they will also be dubbed terrorists. One day, if Mohan Bhagwat stands, then he will also be dubbed as a terrorist," he said.

"He (PM) will make sure the wealth of poor people is transferred to crony capitalists. He will call people anti-nationals, terrorists. He will construct whatever narrative he wants to make sure that wealth transfer takes place. He will do whatever he has to do to transfer this wealth of these people, the backbone of the country, to those 3-4 people," Gandhi alleged.

About Congress MPs and leaders not allowed to stage a protest march to Rashtrapati Bhawan, he said, "It is an assault on the idea of India.

The government is stopping our MPs from moving out of our office. The PM needs to realise that there is a limit to this... There is no democracy in India, it is only in imagination, not in reality."

Claiming that the country was "moving on a dangerous path" and "it will suffer", Gandhi further asked, "China is sitting at the border and has snatched our land. But why does the PM not speak up on it?" Reminding that he had earlier warned about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, "I say things in advance. Again, I say, no power can stand before the farmers and labourers".

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