Farm laws: Congress says 16 Opposition parties to boycott President’s Budget Session address

By: |
January 28, 2021 2:59 PM

This is being seen as yet another move by the opposition party to build pressure on the Narendra Modi government to repeal the farm laws.

Congress Opposition farmers protestSenior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the opposition parties are boycotting president's address because these three farm bills were passed forcibly in the House, without Opposition's support. (PTI)

Congress, along with 16 opposition parties, has announced that it will boycott the address to be made by President Ram Nath Kovind at Parliament tomorrow. Talking to the media in New Delhi today, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We’re issuing a joint statement from 16 political parties that we’re boycotting the President’s Address that will be delivered at Parliament tomorrow. The major reason behind this decision is that the three farm bills were passed forcibly in the House, without Opposition’s support.”

This is being seen as yet another move by the opposition party to build pressure on the Narendra Modi government to repeal the contentious farm laws enacted last year.

As a tradition, the President used to address the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session every year. Last year as well, President Ram Nath Kovind had addressed the joint sitting of Parliament from the Central Hall.

While the Government has refused to repeal the farm laws and has agreed for amendments, protesting farmer unions have been adamant on repealing the law. Blaming the government for January 26 violence, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had also asked the Centre to roll back the three farm laws.

Farmer unions have been protesting at Singhu Border for the last two months demanding legal guarantee for MSP and repealing of the new farm laws. While the government has proposed to put the laws on hold for 18 months, it has refused to roll back the law. The government has been saying that these laws are for the betterment of the farmers and are much-awaited reforms in the farm sector. An agreement to end the farmers’ protest could not be reached even after eleven rounds of talks between the farmer union leaders and the central government ministers.

Even after the January 26 violence, the Centre has said that it’s open for talks if the unions agree to consider its offer to put the laws on hold and form a joint committee to resolve the grievances.

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