Farmers’ Protest: Opposition says government real threat to democracy; asks it to shed its ‘arrogance’

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February 10, 2021 7:56 AM

Farmers' Protest: Congress' Preneet Kaur dubbed the three Acts, which have triggered protests, as black laws and asked the government to repeal them.

Farmers protest latest newsFarmers' Protest: Asking the government to withdraw the three farm laws, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi accused the Centre of treating farmers the way it should be treating China on the borders of the country. (PTI)

Farmers’ Protest: Opposition members on Tuesday asked the government in Lok Sabha to shed its “arrogance” over the three new farm laws, even as BJP MPs hailed the Centre for its welfare and pro-farmer measures.

Speaking during the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, Congress’ Preneet Kaur dubbed the three Acts, which have triggered protests, as black laws and asked the government to repeal them.

She referred to “Khalistani” and “Maoists” barbs used by some people against a section of protesting farmers and said this was wrong while adding that a brother of a protester was a soldier who had laid down his life in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese soldiers in Ladakh.

“This government is a real threat to our democracy not farmers,” she said, asking the government to shed its arrogance.

Participating in the debate, BJP member Nishikant Dubey challenged Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to prove his accusation that workers of the saffron party were behind the January 26 violence at the Red Fort in Delhi.

“He (Chowdhury) said that BJP workers were involved in the January 26 violence. If it is proven, I will resign as an MP. Congress has a history of distortion. He should apologise for distorting the facts,” he said.

BJP’s Dilip Saikia focussed on the government’s emphasis on boosting infrastructure in Assam and the Northeast in general, adding that the state has got an AIIMS.

During the China war in 1962, the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had left the entire Northeastern region to its fate, Saikia alleged, and said it is the Modi government which has worked to boost connectivity, infrastructure and other development works there.

Slamming the opposition, Ramesh Bidhuri of the BJP said when in power, the Congress did not implement the Swaminathan Commission report that sought to increase farmers’ income. He said the Modi government accepted 200 recommendations of the Commission.

The government also brought the three farms laws to double their income, he said.

Another BJP member, Meenakashi Lekhi, said that there was an international conspiracy to destabilise and defame India over the farmer protest issue.

Referring to the anti-CAA agitation, she said that protests were organised at the time of the visit of the then US President Donald Trump. And now on January 26, to catch attention of the global media, Lekhi said.

TMC’s Saugata Roy alleged that several Union ministers are doing “political tourism” in West Bengal.

In an apparent reference to the upcoming state assembly polls, he said it was a battle between “Bengali and outsiders” and said the state cannot be ruled from Gujarat.

He also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his ‘aandolan-jivi’ jibe and said the BJP’s ideological forebears never went to jail during the freedom struggle.

Roy also demanded repeal of the farm laws.

National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said the new farm laws are not religious scriptures that cannot be changed.

“I just want to make this request on the farmers’ issue. It is not a ‘Khudai kitaab’ (religious scripture) that we cannot make changes. But we have made law. If they (farmers) want it to be scrapped, why can’t you talk to them,” he said.

While mentioning that DDC elections were clean, he wondered what next. Hinting at possible horse trading, the leader also urged Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was present in the House, to bring a law to stop such activities.

During the speech, some members from the Treasury benches objected to certain remarks by Abdullah.

Asking the government to withdraw the three farm laws, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi accused the Centre of treating farmers the way it should be treating China on the borders of the country.

Owaisi said the “infrastructure” that should have been created at the borders to check Chinese troops was erected at Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders to prevent farmers from entering Delhi.

He wanted to know why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “shying” away from taking the name of China which is responsible for the killing of Indian soldiers and constructing a village in Arunachal Pradesh.

Owaisi said the government should rescind the three controversial farm laws. He also wondered as to how the government decided to suspend the three farm laws for one-and-half years once they have been passed by Parliament.

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at the Uttar Pradesh government, saying that atrocities are happening against women in the state.

He claimed that farmers in many areas, including the place from where the country’s President comes from, have not received Minimum Support Price for their produce.

There were protests in the House and Law Minister Prasad raised concerns about remarks related to the President.

Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal accused the government of committing atrocities on farmers agitating against the three agricultural laws at Delhi’s borders and criticised it for linking the peasants’ movement with terrorists and Khalistanis.

SAD was part of the ruling NDA till it quit the alliance in September 2020 to protest the three laws and Badal resigned as a minister from the Narendra Modi government.

Waving posters and photos of farmers, who died during the agitation, she said no sympathetic word has come from the government for them.

Hanuman Beniwal (RLP) said that he had left the NDA because of the farm laws and will not hesitate to quit Lok Sabha in support of the demands of the farmers.

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