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TMC demands bill to repeal farm laws in Budget session

TMC MP Derek O'Brien. File   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The government should repeal the three farm laws in the upcoming Budget session. There is no question of short cuts or rewriting, the Trinamool Congress said at a press conference here on Monday.

Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’Brien said his party will press for the repeal of the laws, which were bulldozed through Parliament in the monsoon session. He was one of the eight Rajya Sabha MPs suspended for the protest in the House against passing the Bills amid din.

“All of you know the TMC’s stand on the laws and Mamata Banerjee’s commitment on land and farmers. In the upcoming session, the government must introduce a Bill and turn it into an Act to repeal the laws.” He said there is no question of taking ‘shortcuts’ by using the ordinance route or ‘rewriting’ the bill.

“The nation saw how democracy was murdered in the monsoon session,” he said. He also sought to counter the BJP criticism of the Bengal government on stalling implementation of the PM Kisan Yojana.

Mr. O’Brien said West Bengal has already successfully implemented Krishak Bandhu Yojana which is far more effective than the PM Kisan. “Under the Krishak Bandhu, ₹5,000 is given per acre against the PM Kisan’s ₹1,214 per acre. The Krishak Bandhu covers all farmers while the PM Kisan is only for farmers with a holding of two hectares or less.”

He was dismissive of BJP’s resurgence in the State, where nearly a dozen TMC lawmakers have joined it in the last few months. “The big election is not in 2021 but in 2024. In 2021 election, the BJP has already lost elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala,” Mr. O’Brien said. Shifting the goal post, he said by 2024 elections, the Opposition will again have to fight for the Constitution and the idea of India, what our founding fathers had created.

“There will be a lot of distraction but this election will be fought on the development work done by the Mamata Banerjee government,” Mr. O’Brien said. Asked on how he can conclusively write off the BJP, Mr. O’Brien said, “It is the same confidence that a good student who have studied over a period of time goes into the exam with. There is no arrogance or cockiness — this is about believing that we have done a good job under Mamata Banerjee.”

He also took a dig at the BJP, calling them faceless. “Under whose leadership is the BJP fighting the Assembly elections in West Bengal?”

The BJP, he said, is desperate to appropriate the minds and soul of Bengal but their seniormost leaders get confused about basic details such as the birthplace of literary giant Rabindranath Tagore. Party president J.P. Nadda had in December last year claimed that Tagore was born in Visva Bharati. Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his trip to Bankura on November 10 had garlanded the statue of a local hunter mistaking it to be that of Birsa Munda.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 7:01:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tmc-demands-bill-to-repeal-farm-laws-in-budget-session/article33660175.ece

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