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Opinion

Sonia Gandhi of Congress criticizes ‘black’ farm laws

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Congress celebrated its 136th founding day on Monday, with Acting President Sonia Gandhi and Secretary General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking the occasion to extend their support for the farmers’ protest against a set of contentious farm laws, but Rahul’s decision Gandhi’s skipping it The quick overseas visit cast his shadow over the event.

Party veteran AKAntony raised the party flag at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi to commemorate its founding on December 28, 1885. Sonia Gandhi and former party chairman Rahul Gandhi, who left on Sunday for a foreign visit, did not were present on the occasion.

Sonia Gandhi, who has been avoiding public functions in recent weeks, expressed her warm wishes to party workers and backed the farmers’ protest in a 3-minute 45-second video message. He claimed that “black laws” were being imposed on farmers.

“We have to strengthen the Congress party at the ground level. … Let us swear today that we will defend the constitution and the democratic values ​​that our country represents, ”he said.

The Congress celebrated its founding day in the context of a protest by thousands of farmers, mainly from North India, who have gathered on the borders of Delhi in the winter cold since November 26 to protest against the three agricultural laws. promulgated in September by the Bharatiya Janata Party. NDA government run.

The protesters are demanding that the Center repeal all three laws, which essentially change the way India’s farmers do business by creating free markets, as opposed to a decades-old network of government markets, which allow traders store essential products for future sales and placements. establish a national framework for contract farming.

Together, the laws will allow large corporations and global supermarket chains to buy directly from farmers, without going through decades-long regulations. Farmers say the reforms will make them vulnerable to exploitation by large corporations, erode their bargaining power and weaken the government’s procurement system, whereby the government buys commodities, such as wheat and rice, at guaranteed rates. known as minimum support prices (MSP).

Priyanka Gandhi, who was present at the flag-raising ceremony at the party’s headquarters, said the government, which has accused opposition parties of deceiving farmers, should listen to protesters.

“To say that this is a political conspiracy is wrong. I feel like the words used for farmers are a sin. The government is accountable to the farmers and the government should talk to the farmers and repeal the laws, ”he said. He said that the soldiers who protect India’s borders are the children of farmers and the government must understand that farmers are the “annadatas” (food givers) of the country.

Farmer leaders, who ended negotiations with the government citing a deadlock after meeting with Interior Minister Amit Shah on December 8, will resume talks on Wednesday. The government has said it is willing to offer a written guarantee that minimum support prices will continue, but has refused to repeal the laws.

He did not comment on Rahul Gandhi’s visit abroad. The chief congressional spokesman, Randeep Singh Surjewala, confirmed that Gandhi had left the country on a visit abroad, but did not reveal the location. “The leader of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, has gone abroad for a short personal visit and will be away for a few days,” Surjewala told PTI.

The ruling BJP questioned the timing of Gandhi’s visit.

“So much noise was made by the farmers’ protest by the opp (opposition), where is #RG now? Short vacation? Seriously? If he is so concerned about farmers, he should have been on the streets with them and not on vacation, ”wrote BJP leader Khusbhu Sundar on Twitter.

The general secretary (organization) of Congress, KC Venugopal, defended Rahul Gandhi. “Rahul Gandhi has gone to see his grandmother. That’s wrong? Venugopal told ANI. “Everyone has the right to make personal visits. BJP is indulging in low-level politics. They are targeting Rahul Gandhi because they want to target only one leader. “

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