Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded from the Modi government to convene a special session of the Parliament and withdraw the three farm laws that are the heart of protests. Speaking to reporters after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind with two-crore signatures against the farm laws, Rahul accused PM Narendra Modi and the BJP of not listening to the farmers demand and making money for the crony capitalists.
“I told the President that these farm laws are anti-farmer. The country has seen that farmers have stood up against these laws,” he said.
“I want to tell the PM that these farmers are not going to go back home until these farm laws are repealed. Govt should convene a joint session of Parliament and take back these laws. Opposition parties stand with farmers & labourers,” Rahul added.
“Whoever will try to stand against him will be called terrorist – be it farmers, labourers and even Mohan Bhagwat,” the Congress leader opined.
Earlier today, Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury meet President Kovind and submitted a memorandum containing two-crore signatures seeking withdrawal of farm laws.
Meanwhile, scores of Congress leaders are staging a sit-in protest outside party office here after they were prevented from marching to Rashtrapati Bhawan against the farm laws. According to news agency ANI, senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others were taken into preventive custody by the police.
“We are living in democracy and they are elected MPs. They have the right to meet the President and they should be allowed. What is problem with that? Government is not ready to listen to voices of lakhs of farmers camping at borders,” Priyanka told reporters after being stopped by police.
“Sometimes they say we are so weak that we don’t qualify as Opposition and sometimes, they say that we are so powerful that we have made lakhs of farmers camp at the border for a month. They should first decide what we are,” she added.
In another related development, Rahul Gandhi is leading a delegation of party MPs from the Vijay Chowk to the Rashtraparti Bhavan to meet President Ram Nath Kovind. Rahul will submit a memorandum to the President containing two crore signatures of farmers seeking in intervention to break the impasse over the new farm laws.
The Congress party has extended support to the farmers protest against the agri reforms. Today is 29th day of the protests. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are currently staying put at Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in protest against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Opposition parties including the Congress have extended support to the farmers’ demand to repeal the laws. Farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations. However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. The government argues that the three farm laws will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
Earlier, a delegation of opposition leaders comprising Rahul had met the President. The delegation had submitted a memorandum to Kovind seeking his intervention to break the logjam.
Meanwhile, farmer unions have asked the government not to repeat the proposal of “meaningless” amendments that they have already rejected but come up with a “concrete” offer in writing for the resumption of talks. Reading out a reply to the government’s talks offer during a press conference, farmers leaders said that they are ready for dialogue with an open mind if they get a concrete proposal, but made it clear they will not accept anything less than a complete repeal of the three agriculture laws and legal guarantee for MSP.