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Opinion

Farmers’ protest: Opposition leaders likely to meet with President and seek repeal of farm laws

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Leaders of different opposition parties are likely to meet with President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday about the ongoing farmer unrest, voice concerns about the three new farm laws enacted by the Center in September, and seek repeal.

The Chairman of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Sharad Pawar, said opposition leaders will meet to discuss the issue and formulate a collective position on the controversial farm laws before meeting with the president.

Besides the PNC, the other opposition parties likely to join the meeting are Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Trinamool Congress, which is a last minute addition to the delegation.

All these parties support the call for Bharat Bandh on Tuesday by the farmers’ unions.

Read also | Farmers to meet with Amit Shah today ahead of the sixth round of talks tomorrow

In addition to Pawar, CPI (M) Secretary General Sitaram Yechury, CPI Secretary General D Raja, and DMK TKS Elangovan will meet with the president.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi is also likely to join, but there is no official confirmation yet.

On Tuesday, Pawar met with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, and the two are said to have discussed the acquisition of land for the Purandar airport in the Pune district.

A war of words has broken out between the government and the opposition parties over the farmers’ protests. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday that Pawar, as agriculture minister in the UPA government, had asked states to amend the APMC Act and had even warned them that the Center would not provide financial assistance. in the absence of the three reforms.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also cited letters written by Pawar at the time to senior ministers in this regard. However, the PNC said that after taking office as agriculture minister, Pawar had tried to form a broader consensus among state agricultural marketing boards by inviting suggestions for the implementation of the law.

“The benefit of farmers under the APMC Law model was explained by Pawar to various state governments, many of which went ahead to implement it. Farmers across the country are benefiting from the implementation of the law, which was perfected by Pawar to protect the interests of farmers, ”he said.

Meanwhile, former Haryana chief minister and congressional leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanded the immediate convening of the parliament session to repeal the agricultural laws. He also said that some reforms are needed in the agricultural sector, but that they must be framed with the interests of farmers in mind.

“I agree that some reforms are needed, but these should be in the interest of farmers. Laws passed recently do not reflect such reforms. The government should convene a session of Parliament to repeal these laws and discuss agricultural reforms that do not harm farmers, “he added.

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