In his first speech in the parliament after he resigned as the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi accused the central government of bias that considers "farmers inferior to the rich".
Rahul Gandhi while expressing his displeasure with the Union budget 2019 accused the central government of adopting "double standards". Despite promises to the farmers, he said, that he was "sad to see that no concrete steps were taken in this budget to provide relief to the farmers."
Gandhi accused the Centre of neglecting the farmers by giving them only Rs 4.3 lakh crore in tax concessions compared to "rich businessmen" who he alleged had got a loan waiver of Rs 5.5 lakh crore.
"Why is this shameful double standard? Why does the government act as if our farmers are inferior to the rich?" Gandhi said.
Raising the issue of farmer suicides in the Lok Sabha, Gandhi said that farmers were suffering throughout the country.
"Their properties are attached against the bank loans. This is resulting in a spate of farmer suicides," said Gandhi.
Drawing attention to the "terrible plight" of farmers in Kerala, Gandhi said a farmer in Wayanad, from where he was elected to the Lok Sabha, committed suicide on Wednesday due to his debt.
"In Wayanad alone bank notices for non-payment of loans have been given to almost 8,000 farmers. The farmers are facing a threat of immediate eviction," he said.
He went on: "The Prime Minister made certain commitments five years ago to the farmers on prices and farm loans. As there is a terrible situation for the farmers in this country, I would request the government to fulfil these commitments.
Countering Gandhi, the defence minister, Rajnath Singh, who was present in the House, said people who ran the government for decades were responsible for the situation of farmers.
Singh said most suicides by farmers took place before the BJP-led government came to power.
He also said following efforts of the Modi government, the income of farmers increased by 20-25 per cent.
(With Inputs from agencies.)