Govt. ‘terrified’ of debate on farm laws: Rahul

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses the media at Vijay Chowk during the Winter Session of the Parliament, in New Delhi on November 29, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The manner in which the Narendra Modi government repealed the three contentious farm laws proves that the government had done something ‘wrong’ and is “terrified” of having a discussion, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Monday.

Soon after both Houses of Parliament repealed the farm laws without a debate, Mr. Gandhi addressed a press conference in which he reiterated that they (the Congress) had predicted how the government will have to withdraw the farm laws and asserted that “the might of three -four large crony capitalists couldn’t withstand the might of the Indian farmers and labourers”.

“We wanted to discuss MSP [minimum support price]. We wanted to discuss Lakhimpur Kheri incident. We wanted to discuss the 700 farmers who died in this agitation and unfortunately but that discussion has not been allowed...What is unfortunate is how the bills have been repealed, without any discussion, without any conversation. We wanted to have a discussion about forces behind these bills because these bills do not just reflect the view of the Prime Minister, these bills reflect the forces behind the Prime Minister,” Mr Gandhi told reporters.

“This is a reflection of the fact that the government is terrified of having this discussion. The government wants to hide. The government does not have the guts to stand up for its action and this is quite unfortunate,” he added.

When it was pointed out that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had apologised in his televised address to the nation on November 19, Mr. Gandhi said, “What’s the point of having Parliament then to make laws? Just shut it down.”

Elaborating further, the former Congress chief said that if Mr. Modi has “accepted his mistake” then the government will have to pay compensation to over 700 farmers who died during the year long protests.

Countering the narrative that the farm laws repeal proved the Modi government’s sincerity towards the farmers, Mr Gandhi said, “What were they doing for the last one year? Why did it take 700 dead farmers for them to repeal these laws? Why is the Prime Minister apologizing? If they have done nothing against the farmers, why he is apologising?”

Earlier in the day, before proceedings of Parliament started, Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed party MPs and led a protest against the farm laws in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue inside Parliament complex.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge also met floor leaders of 11 Opposition parties including the DMK, NCP and the Left parties, to demand a debate while repealing the farm laws. However, the Trinamool Congress, which supported a debate, skipped the coordination meeting.

Addressing joint Opposition press conference later, Mr. Kharge contested the the government’s claim that repeal bills need not be debated and said, “In the past there have been 17 bills that were debated on the floor of the Parliament before repeal”.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 2:02:21 AM |

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