National

Congress urges NDA allies to oppose farm Bills

Congress leaders on Sunday appealed to the coalition partners of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to stand against the agriculture sector Bills “to raise the voice of farmers and the poor.”

Also read: The Hindu Explains | Who gains and who loses from the farm Bills?

Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja and Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar held a joint video press conference, and asked all parties which support the BJP to “hear the voice the poor, the farmers and self. Don’t shut your voice ... you should convey it to the BJP that the anger is simmering across the country, and it would be only the BJP that would be responsible for any consequences. Farmers and poor are raising their voice, but the BJP is not willing to listen.”

Ms. Selja said that in Haryana, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which is in alliance with the BJP, should quit the government and stand in support of farmers protesting against the agriculture Bills.

“Dushyant Chautala should introspect about the unholy alliance that his party has done with the BJP, and how the farmers are being mistreated. The JJP, which claims to speak for farmers, should quit the BJP government in Haryana. If the government will continue to work this way, then our farmers and labourers will keep suffering. Injustice is being done to farmers, ‘arhtiyas’ [commission agents] and labourers through these Bills,” she said.

Ms. Selja said, “The BJP has strangled the democracy by using its conservative majority. Our farmers, arhtiyas, labourers are the backbone of the agricultural sector, but they are suffering the most today. The government wants to end the relationship of farmers and arhtiyas, and want to turn the farmers as labourers on their land through contract farming.”

Ms. Selja said the Congress had been agitating against these laws. “Hundreds of farmers’ organisations are on the road across the country, but this government is not paying heed to the voices of these people. Today, the government is handing over the farmers’ welfare to private companies,” she alleged.

She urged President Ram Nath Kovind not to sign the farm Bills.

Separately, Punjab Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said “the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) cannot wash its hands off the sins committed by the party even after ending its marriage of convenience with the BJP owing to political compulsions as well as pressure mounted by the farmers’ agitation.”

Mr. Randhawa said the ‘Badal family’ was equal partners in the NDA government, which brought the country’s economy to its lowest ebb.

“With breaking of alliance with the BJP, the SAD cannot claim itself to be a holy cow, for the party is equitable ally in crime during wrongs committed against Punjab,” he added.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 9:45:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-urges-nda-allies-to-oppose-farm-bills/article32709284.ece

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