Will Cong scrap free trade pact?: Pinarayi Vijayan

Alappuzha: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan  on Thursday  asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi whether the anti-farmer Indo-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (signed in 2007)  would be scrapped if the Congress was voted to power.

“The BJP and the Congress are pursuing anti-farmer policies. They succumb to corporates and capitalism,” Vijayan told an election rally at Mavelikara.

Only those parties which have put forward alternative policies to the BJP and the Congress should be voted to power, he said. As many as 500 farmers committed suicide in Wayanad prior to 2016. The people of Wayanad will tell Rahul Gandhi that it happened because of the policies of the Congress governments. The suicide of farmers was the outcome of ASEAN agreement, he added.

“When Manmohan Singh was implementing this policy, Rahul Gandhi was the force behind it. Will this agreement be scrapped? Will Rahul concede his fault? When we opposed the agreement, Congress ignored us,” he said.

The Congress was unable to counter the BJP and it was taking steps to weaken Opposition unity against the BJP, he said.

“When the SP and BSP decided to fight together, the Congress chose kept off it. The same happened in Delhi as well. The Left parties in West Bengal had decided to avoid a direct fight with the Congress. However, it was the Congress which fielded candidates first in the constituencies where the Left had won. Rahul Gandhi who used to say he was opposing  the BJP has filed his nomination in Wayanad. By fighting the LDF in Wayanad, what message he is sending out?” he asked.

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