Talks between govt, farmers deadlocked; led by Congress, Opp leaders meet President, seek repeal of laws
Emerging from the meeting, Rahul Gandhi said, “We met the President and informed him of our view regarding the three farm laws. We informed the President that it is critical that they are taken back”
A delegation of five political parties led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi met President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday evening seeking repeal of the three controversial farm laws on Wednesday.
Besides Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, the five-member delegation of Opposition leaders included CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja and DMK leader TKS Elangovan.
“These new agri-laws, passed in the Parliament in an anti-democratic manner preventing structured discussion and voting, threaten India’s food security, destroy Indian agriculture and our farmers, lay the basis for the abolishment of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and mortgage Indian agriculture and our markets to the caprices of multi-national agri-business corporates and domestic corporates,” reads the statement issued by the Opposition parties.
Emerging from the meeting Rahul Gandhi said, “We met the President and informed him of our view regarding the three farm laws. We have asked for their repeal. We informed the President that it is critical that they are taken back”.
“The kisan (farmer) has lost faith in the government. The kisan does not believe that the government is acting in their interest and that is why lakhs of them are on the streets; non-violently, compassionately on the streets. They are struggling in cold weather with complete respect. So, we informed the Hon’ble President that it is absolutely critical that these bills be taken back,” added Rahul Gandhi.
Talking to the media after the meeting, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “We have given a memorandum to the President. We are asking to repeal agriculture laws and electricity amendment bills that were passed in anti-democratic manner without proper discussions and consultations.”
Saying that the new farm bills were passed in hurry, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “There was a request from all Opposition parties for in-depth discussion of farm bills and that it should be sent to the select committee, but unfortunately, no suggestion was accepted.”
The Opposition delegation was limited to five because of the COVID-19 situation, the leaders added.
The three farm laws enacted in September have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
- Rahul Gandhi
- Sitaram Yechury
- Ram Nath Kovind
- NCP chief Sharad Pawar
- farm laws