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Opposition seeks President’s intervention on farmers’ deaths, Pegasus row

Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal with the delegation that met the President on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

A delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Nationalist Congress Party and the National Conference met President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday and urged him to direct the Narendra Modi government to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the death of hundreds of farmers in the nine-month long agitation against the three controversial farm laws. The delegation also demanded a debate on the Pegasus cyberattack.

The delegation handed over the memorandum which was also signed by the BSP, the Shiv Sena, the CPI, the CPI(M) and the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party. The Congress is not a signatory to it.

After meeting the President, SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the entire Opposition has been demanding the government for the last two weeks to allow them to speak in Parliament on issues concerning people. Ms. Badal was accompanied by Ritesh Pandey of the BSP, Mohammed Faizal of the NCP and Hasnain Masoodi of the N.C.

Ms. Badal said other Opposition parties including the Congress were urged to accompany but they did not join.

Democratic traditions under threat

“We have come here to tell the President that democracy and democratic traditions are under threat and the voice of parliamentarians is being crushed inside Parliament too. This is a big loss for democracy. As the custodian and conscience keeper of the country, he should put pressure on the government to listen to the people’s issues and allow Parliament to function,” the former Union Minister told reporters.

Ms. Badal said more than 500 farmers have so far died in the agitation while the government is living in denial. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s statements that no farmer has died rubs salt into our wounds, she said. “The government says this is an issue concerning only one State, but MPs have come here from different States, from every nook and corner of the country.”


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 6:00:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/opposition-seeks-presidents-intervention-on-farmers-deaths-pegasus-row/article35659741.ece

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