Shahenshah enacted a law in Parliament against truck drivers, says Rahul Gandhi on truckers strike over criminal laws

Congress leader shows solidarity with the truckers who have gone on strike to oppose changes in the new criminal code that would penalise them heavily in hit-and-run cases

Published - January 02, 2024 11:46 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a gathering. FILE

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a gathering. FILE | Photo Credit: ANI

Expressing solidarity with truckers who have gone on strike to oppose changes in the new criminal code, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making laws without consulting stakeholders or the Opposition.

Under the new criminal code, hit-and-run cases can attract up to 10 years in jail and a fine of ₹7 lakh. Those who operate commercial vehicles, including truckers and cab drivers, are opposed to this and have argued that they cannot pay such a high fine in the event of an accident.

“The insistence on making laws without discussion with the affected class and without dialogue with the Opposition is a continuous attack on the soul of democracy,” Mr. Gandhi said in a post in Hindi on X.

He said that when 150 Opposition MPs were suspended, “the Shahenshah [emperor] in Parliament enacted a law against drivers, who are the backbone of the Indian economy and it could have fatal consequences”.

‘Harsh legal furnace’

Mr. Gandhi said pushing this hard-working class with limited earnings into the “harsh legal furnace” can badly affect their lives.

“They [the new laws] can also be misused for organised corruption and extortion mechanism. The government which runs democracy with the whip has forgotten the difference between ‘Emperor’s orders’ and ‘Justice’,” the Congress leader said.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also targeted the government in a post on X.

“Even as BJP wants to unjustly harass and penalise poor truck drivers through stringent laws, its Govt does not want to invest in new Infra creation, meant for the country’s progress,” Mr. Kharge said.

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