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Opinion

Opposition leaders meet with President Kovind and call for the repeal of farm laws

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A delegation of opposition parties met with President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday to seek the repeal of the three new agricultural laws enacted in September, claiming that the government had “insulted” farmers by having them passed in Parliament. in an “undemocratic” way without discussion and consultation.

The meeting came a day after a Bharat Bandh called by farmers’ unions to protest against these laws. Thousands of farmers are currently protesting on the borders of Delhi after they were denied entry to the capital.

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The five-member delegation of opposition leaders included former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party (CPN) head Sharad Pawar, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary Communist Party of India general D Raja and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader TKS Elangovan. The delegation was limited to five due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“We urge you, as the custodian of the Indian Constitution, to persuade your government not to be stubborn and to accept the demands made by the Indian annadatas,” opposition leaders said in a memorandum submitted to the president.

“New farm laws, passed in Parliament in an undemocratic manner that impede structured discussion and voting, threaten India’s food security, destroy Indian agriculture and our farmers, lay the foundation for the abolition of the Minimum Support Price (MSP ) and the mortgage Indian agriculture and our markets at the whims of multinational agro-industrial corporations and national corporations ”, he added.

The memo said that more than 20 political parties, including those that run the states, extended their solidarity with farmers for their fight and supported their so-called bandh on Dec. 8, demanding the repeal of farm laws and the amendment bill. of electricity. “We met with the president and informed him of our views on the three farm laws. We have asked for its repeal. We inform him that it is essential that they withdraw, ”Gandhi told reporters after the meeting.

“The way the farm laws were passed in Parliament, we think it was an insult to the farmers and that’s why they are protesting against them in the cold weather. They will not give in and continue their peaceful agitation until the laws are repealed, “he said.

The former head of Congress said that the new laws were aimed at handing over the agricultural sector to “friends” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“But the farmers are not afraid and they will not back down. They have lost faith in the government, “he added.

Pawar said that several political parties petitioned the president to repeal these farm laws, as they were not discussed with interested parties or in a select committee of Parliament. “The government did not accept a single suggestion from the opposition leaders in parliament and all these bills were hastily passed,” he said.

“In this cold, farmers are in the streets protesting peacefully, expressing their discontent. It is the government’s duty to solve this problem, ”Pawar added.

Yechury echoed his views. “We told the president that the three agricultural laws were passed in an undemocratic manner in Parliament and we have sought the repeal of these laws,” he said.

The CPI (M) leader said the government should repeal the acts in the face of widespread protests from farmers.

“The Prime Minister has been saying that these laws are in the interest of farmers, but the question is if these laws are in their favor, then why are they protesting in the cold?” He said.

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