MUMBAI (TIP): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who arrived in Nagpur on April 29, started his padyatra at around 8.15 am and visited five villages in Amravati division during his 15-km march on foot. He visited family members of the nine farmers who committed suicide from the five villages of Gunji, Shahapur Ramgaon, Rajna and Tongalabad which are at a distance of 50 to 70 kms from Amravati.
The expectations were high. And so was the determination of the relatives of nine farmers who committed suicide in Vidarbha to present their woes before the Congress’ crowned prince. But neither did Rahul Gandhi utter a word on the lack of irrigation facilities in the region nor did issue any promises to the ailing farmers. What he could alone tell was: “How can I announce something or promise you anything?”
It was only on Wednesday that Congress state chief Ashok Chavan told reporters in Nagpur that Rahul’s Vidarbha visit was not aimed at targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But that was exactly what Rahul did, criticising Modi sarkar.
Rahul, who arrived in Nagpur on Wednesday night, started his padyatra at around 8.15 am and visited five villages in Amravati division during his 15-km march on foot. He visited family members of the nine farmers who committed suicide from the five villages of Gunji, Shahapur Ramgaon, Rajna and Tongalabad which are at a distance of 50 to 70 kms from Amravati.
Rahul first visited the village of Gunji where he met family members of Nilesh Walake and Ambadas Wahile who had committed suicides due to agrarian crisis. He was offered a cup of tea, made of cow milk, at Walake’s house. Rahul had walked mush faster than those accompanying him and most of them were seen wiping the sweat on face with turkish napkins.
En-route to next village, Rahul walked with determination and at times stopped to have a chat with a few farmers. At Shahapur, he met family members of late Kishor Kamble. He then proceeded to Ramgaon where he met family members of Kacharu Goma Toopsundare and had lunch with the family. Rahul had moongdal wadyachi bhaaji with poli and ambyachi kairi for his lunch at Toopsundare’s house.
After lunch at Ramgaon, he proceeded to Rajna and met family members of Marutrao Meware. He interacted with a few farmers including Pradeep Jagtap, Pandurang Chavare, Ramesh Rathi, Shrikant Gavande, Noorbhai Shaikh Noor and Sachitanand Kale, who all complained to him of lack of irrigation facilities in Vidarbha.
He met family members of four farmers – Manik Thavbhar, Ashok Saatpaise, Ramdas Adakite and Shankar Adakite – from Tongalabad who had committed suicide. Even though they had the same story to tell and complained about the lack of irrigation facilities, what they could hear in return was nothing.
Addressing a news conference, when reporters asked as to what he has offered the family members, the Congress vice-president replied, “How can I assure or promise them anything?I can help them through my party or on my personal behalf, but it has limitations.” All through the news meet, however, he targetted the government for ignoring farmers and demanded a complete loan waiver.