14:23 GMT31 October 2020
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    Modi's Government 'Exploits the Poor, Serves the Rich', India's Rahul Gandhi says

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    Famed for making jibes at India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi – the leading opposition politician from the Congress party – has consistently attacked the government on several fronts, such as its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy and the sale of state-run companies.

    Rahul Gandhi attacked the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, accusing it of exploiting the poor while serving the rich.

    A day after the Parliament's monsoon session ended abruptly, Gandhi, the former chief of India’s main opposition party Congress, has said that after farmers, the interests of the workers are being compromised by the government.

    Taking to social media Gandhi, who these days prefers to tweet in Hindi, stated: “After the farmers, the labourers have been targeted by the government. Exploiting the poor and serving the rich seems to be the motto of Modi’s rule.”

    Gandhi’s attack on the Modi-led government comes a day after the passage of labour bills in Parliament amid protests by Opposition.

    What are Labour Bills About?

    Three key labour reform Bills were passed in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament, on Wednesday. These Bills were also passed in the lower house, Lok Sabha.

    The Opposition, led by Congress, did not participate in the debate about the Bills in Rajya Sabha because of its differences over some provisions, choosing instead to protest outside the House while the Bills were passed.

    The labour Bills in question are the Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020, the Code on Social Security Bill, 2020 and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020. 

    The Industrial Relations Bill stipulates that factories having up to 300 employees need not take permission from the government before laying-off staff.

    Congress claims provisions like these will compromise job security of the workers.    

    Earlier, the Congress also locked horns with the Modi government on the farm Bills, which were passed by the Parliament despite the outcry caused in a marathon session of the Rajya Sabha that continued till late evening on 20 September.

    The two farm-reform Bills, which Gandhi recently termed as “Black Laws”, are now awaiting Presidential approval.

    A delegation of opposition leaders, led by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, already met President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday evening urging him not to approve the farm Bills.

    The Bills are titled - the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020, and the Farmers Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. 

    The former allows farmers to sell their produce at places apart from their designated government market, the latter facilitates contract farming for the farmers, allowing them to enter into supply agreements with private firms.

    The Opposition’s stance on these Bills is that, by allowing private procurement of agriculture produce the Modi government is trying to jettison the state-procurement practice with a minimum support price that is announced by the government from time to time.

    Modi and his Agriculture Minister Tomar have said a couple of times in the past week that the Minimum Support Price (MSP)-based procurement of crops from farmers will continue, adding that the Bills are aimed at giving farmers the freedom to market their produce.  


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