The Rajasthan Congress on Friday staged a dharna near the Raj Bhawan against the farm laws and the rising petroleum prices. The much-hyped dharna at the Raj Bhawan fizzled out as a lacklustre affair as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot did not join the agitation.
The Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) had said that the protest will be led by the chief minister. However, while a number of Gehlot’s Cabinet colleagues were present at the Civil Line, the dharna’s venue, the Chief Minister remained absent.
No explanation was offered either by the chief minister or by the Pradesh Congress on his absence. But some ministers said that since the dharna was staged at Raj Bhawan and the party had planned to gherao the governor, the chief minister chose to opt-out of the dharna.
The dharna was also expected to be attended by All India Congress Committee (AICC )general secretary, Ajay Makan. However, he too remained absent from the venue. The AICC national spokesperson Mohan Prakash and secretary Tarun Kumar were present. As the chief minister did not come to the dharna, the enthusiasm among party workers was missing.
Sachin Pilot steals limelight
The dharna which was called Kisan Adhikar Diwas was addressed by the RPCC president Govind Singh Dotasara, MLA Sachin Pilot and ministers. In the absence of Gehlot, the limelight was stolen by Sachin Pilot. He took over the microphone when the party workers started leaving. But Pilot made them wait with his fiery address in which he condemned the Modi government for overlooking the demands of the agitating farmers.
Pilot said that no responsible government either at the Centre or at the state can deny the farmers their rights. He said the farm laws passed by the Centre are against the farmers and would bring hardships for the farmers. He said the farm laws were brought to benefit the corporates. But the farmers are “annadata” and the Modi government will have to pay a heavy price for denying the farmers their rights.
The protestors were also addressed by senior ministers Shanti Dhariwal and BD Kalla.
Slogans against Gehlot govt
During the dharna, a group of farmers shouted slogans against the Gehlot government for closing down milk collecting centres in some places in Jaipur district. The agitators said the Congress government was itself against the farmers and milk growers.
The BJP’s farmers wing Bhartiya Kisan Sangh said the Congress was misleading the farmers and the laws passed by the Parliament were meant for the welfare of the farmers.
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