Monday, April 19, 2021

Congress says ‘nails’ at Delhi’s border will not deter farmers

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The Indian National Congress while reiterating its support to the farmers and their ‘Chakka jam’ scheduled on February 6 criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party and said that farmers will not be afraid of the barricades installed at Delhi’s borders.

“The farmers who have made a place in the ‘hearts’ of India will not be afraid of the ‘nails’ of the BJP government,” Congress’ tweeted on its social media handle, referring to the barricades and spikes placed at Delhi’s borders aimed at stopping farmers from crossing into Delhi. Delhi Police have stated that these barricades have been put up as a precautionary measure after a planned tractor march turned violent on January 26.

The party has already extended its support to the road blockade proposed by the protesting farmers, which will be held between 12pm to 3pm across the nation, except in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The farmers’ unions have assured that essential services will not be affected during the blockade.

Opposition parties have criticised the government after Delhi Police set up barricades and voiced their protests against the farm laws in Parliament which led to the several disruptions in Lok Sabha proceedings for the fourth day in a row.

Congress MP from West Bengal Adhir Ranjan Choudhury demanded that the government should hold a standalone session to discuss the farm laws. “We’ve urged the government for a separate discussion in Lok Sabha over farmers’ agitation. All kinds of things are discussed in Motion of Thanks to the President’s address. Our only demand is that separate discussion be held over farmers’ issue after Motion of Thanks,” Choudhury was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“We do want a discussion but the government should say that there will be a stand-alone discussion on agriculture,” Choudhury further added.

People familiar with the developments told news agency ANI that the government on Friday agreed to discuss the issues related to the farmers’ agitation and farm laws in Parliament when the session reconvenes.

Union minister for agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar criticised the Opposition and said that during discussions held in the Lok Sabha none of the lawmakers was able to point out the flaws in the farm laws. He said, “As far as the farm laws are concerned, I was in Rajya Sabha today and I noticed that no one is ready to say what is ‘black’ in the ‘black laws’. If you are protesting against the law, then discussion should be held on its provisions. Unfortunately, this is not happening.”

Farmers have been protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 for more than two months at Delhi’s borders. They fear that these laws will decrease farmer incomes and pave the way for corporate farming along with hurting government procurement of crop yields.

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