Why govt talking if farmers have Maoist and Khalistan links: Chidambaram
New Delhi, Dec 13: The Congress Sunday said it was wrong to say that the farmers'' protest is limited to states like Punjab and Haryana only, and added that terming the agitation "political" is an insult to the food-growers of the country.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also took a swipe at the government saying if it was terming the protesters Khalistanis, Maoists and agents of Pakistan and China, then why was it engaging them in talks.
"Ministers have described the protesters against the farm laws as Khalistanis; agents of Pakistan and China; Maoists; and, the latest, tukde tukde gang
"If you exhaust all these categories, it means there are no farmers among the thousands of protesters. If there are no farmers, why is the government talking to them," he asked on Twitter.
Congress'' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also said the Modi government should shed its "arrogance" and follow the Raj Dharma by withdrawing these "black laws" as they "threaten" the farming sector and the livelihood of farmers.
"This is not a fight only for the livelihoods and the lives of 62 crore farmers, but for the 120 crore people who eat what the farmers produce. To term the protests political is a big insult to the food-growers of the country. The Modi government should shed arrogance and follow the Raj Dharma," he said.
"It is wrong to say that the farmers'' agitation is limited to Punjab and Haryana. The entire country is affected by these three black agri laws. In Madhya Pradesh, due to decrease in the business volume at the mandis, the tax collection of the board in one year has gone down from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 220 crore," Surjewala also said in a tweet in Hindi.
Citing a media report, he said 47 mandis and 298 sub-mandis have been closed in Madhya Pradesh alone after the farm laws were enacted.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also hit out at the government over rising petrol prices, alleging the money earned from the tax on petrol is going in the Central Vista project, on buying a new aircraft for the prime minister and on promotional advertisements.