Congress to launch nationwide protest against farm Bills; collect 2 crore signatures from farmers

After a meeting of party’s senior leaders, KC Venugopal said the signatures along with a memorandum will be given to the President on India on November 14, the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru

Congress (PTI)
Congress (PTI)

NH Web Desk

The Congress on Monday said it will launch a nationwide agitation against the farm Bills passed by Parliament and also initiate a campaign for collecting two crore signatures of farmers and the poor against these proposed legislations.

At a press conference after a meeting of the party's senior leaders, general secretary K C Venugopal said the Congress will also launch a massive signature campaign in which it aims to collect two crore signatures from farmers and the poor people against farm bills.

The press conference was attended by A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel, K.C. Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala at AICC headquarters.

Addressing the media, A.K. Antony said, “Congress is launching an agitation against this government for passing these anti-farmers, anti-people laws, throwing all the conventions and rules of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. So, from September 24th onward, Congress is launching an all India agitation asking the government to repeal these anti-farmer, anti-people, anti-poor black laws.”

Venugopal said, “General Secretaries and In-charges meeting has been held in the AICC office. Since the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in our country, this is the first physical meeting we have organised in the AICC office. We discussed the latest political situation in the country, especially the farmers’ agitation. The way in which the Government of India is bulldozing anti-farmers law in Parliament is totally unacceptable to the country and the people of India.”

“What we had witnessed in Rajya Sabha yesterday and today, we didn’t expect this type of attitude from a democratic government. For this type of Bill, which is going to cause serious apprehensions among the farmers of the country, there should be a parallel discussion, there should be a debate. What actually happened, as everybody knows, the government wanted to push the Bill very speedily. We, the people from Congress and other opposition parties have given amendments and have given resolution, at least we demanded it be referred to the Select Committee, for a wider consultation, but nothing was accepted by the Government of India,” he added.

“With public interest in vision, it is the fundamental right of a member of Parliament to have a division on an important Bill; that also was rejected and what they are telling, they are talking about the rules, they are talking about the procedure of the Parliament, they are talking about healthy parliamentary democracy. Unfortunately, our Prime Minister himself is misleading the country by saying that the Opposition has done some mistake,” he said.

“We raised the voice of the farmers in the House; that is our duty, we think, that is our preliminary duty to raise the voice of the farmers and that is what we have done yesterday and today. They have suspended 8 MPs, but this suspension will not help Modiji for suppressing the farmers’ agony and pain. For raising the farmers’ agony and pain in the house and outside the House, therefore, today we have decided to have a series of programmes. We are starting a national agitation; we are totally with farmers’ organizations, those who are fighting on the streets. We are totally with those political parties who are fighting for the cause of the farmers. Therefore the Indian National Congress is planning for a national agitation in support of all the farming organizations of the country,” Venugopal said.

“First of all, a series of physical press conference may be held in each state on 24th September. Number two, PCC Presidents, CLP leaders along with all MPs, MLAs, ex-Ministers, ex-MPs, Congress candidates must walk from PCC office or a designated point like Mahatma Gandhi statue up to Raj Bhawan at every state headquarters and submit the memorandum to Governor addressed to the President of India on Agriculture Bills. English and Hindi copy will be given to the PCCs and they will put up a memorandum to the President of India through the Governor of every state,” he added.

“On 2nd October, 2020, birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji, we would observe as a ‘Kisan Mazdoor Bachao Diwas’, ‘Save Farmers and Farm-Labourers Day’. We will hold dharnas, marches at every assembly headquarters and district headquarters across India on the agriculture bills, wherein we will demand for their immediate withdrawal. We will try to court arrest at every assembly and district headquarters,” he said.

“On October 10th, all state units will organise state level ‘Kisan Sammelan’ at every state headquarters and any other important place in the state. And finally, we are starting a massive signature campaign. We will collect 2 crore signatures from farmers throughout India and we will submit the memorandum on Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday, November 14th, to the President of India,” he added.

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Published: 21 Sep 2020, 8:30 PM