New Delhi: Several Opposition parties including Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Left parties on Friday reiterated in Rajya Sabha their demand to repeal the three contentious farm laws passed by the Centre last year which has caused a nationwide protest by farmers. Participating in the debate of Motion of Thanks on President’s address, the Opposition leaders slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for dubbing farmers protesting against the agri laws as “anti-nationals” and for ‘defaming’ their agitation. ALSO READ | Chakka Jam On Saturday: Timings, Locations And Everything You Need To About Road Blockade By Farmers
Thousands of farmers are camping at three Delhi borders – Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu – to protest against the contentious agri laws and have been demanding rollback of the legislation. The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.
While hitting out at the Centre in Rajya Sabha, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that anyone speaking the truth is dubbed as a ‘traitor’ or ‘anti-national’ and that cases of sedition have been slapped against those criticising the government. Participating in the debate, Raut also said farmers fighting for their rights have been branded as anti-nationals or Khalistanis.
“Farmers, who were known as ‘warriors’ when they fought the Mughals and the British, are now dubbed as anti-nationals when they are fighting for their rights on Delhi’s borders,” Raut accused.
Raut said farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, who are sitting on the borders of Delhi, are fighting for the peasants from across the country and demanded that their voice be heard and the farm laws be repealed. “When the farmers are uniting and fighting for their rights, you see anti-national acts. They are not anti-nationals or ‘khalistanis’,” the Sena leader said.
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Meanwhile, even the Congress upped the ante against Modi government over the agri laws and said that farmers were forced to fight for their rights and to get justice.
“Farmers were forced to fight for their rights and to get justice. Government of India is responsible for the situation that has arisen. I want to pay tributes to the 194 farmers who died during the protests,” Congress MP Anand Sharma in the Upper House.
While speaking about the violence that broke out during farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day leaving several cops of Delhi Police injured, Sharma said: “We express sympathies for police personnel and officers who were injured during the Jan 26 violence. No one has the right to attack those who are discharging their duties. The Red Fort incident has sent shockwaves across the nation and it should be investigated.”
Even Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel also slammed the Centre over its handling of the farmers unrest. “When the government is talking of working for the welfare of farmers, why did it not send the farm laws to the Select Committee for wider consultations to avoid the situation that has arisen now,” he said.
“On our demand, had the government sent the bills to a Select Committee for wider consultations, the scenes witnessed today around Delhi would not have been witnessed. What was the hurry to bring these laws,” Patel asked.