Congress changes strategy in House, shifts focus on farmers
New Delhi: As farmers take the centrestage in Lutyen's Delhi after being allowed to protest at Jantar Mantar against the controversial agriculture laws, the Congress on Thursday changed its strategy in Lok Sabha and started protesting against the government in support of farmer's demand of withdrawal of all three controversial agriculture laws.
Prior to raising farmers' issue, the Congress had joined other opposition parties in taking on the government over the Pegasus 'hacking' controversy which led to repeated disruption of Lok Sabha.
The sudden change in the Congress' strategy in the House is aimed at showcasing its pro-farmer stand to gain the support of the farming community in the upcoming assembly elections, mainly in the states of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The elections in these two important states are due in the next year.
The protest against the controversial agriculture laws started by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who along with party MPs, staged a protest in the Parliament premises in support of farmers.
Congress MPs from both houses gathered outside Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the Parliament complex and raised slogans against the government and the prime minister. They also carried placards and hoardings to raise slogans in support of the farmers and their demands.
The party leaders believe that the issue of farmers would give them more visibility than the Pegasus row and put the BJP on the backfoot.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the party MPs in both houses of Parliament are urging the chair to allow a discussion on the farmers' issue and have given adjournment notices, but the same is not being accepted.
The government claims that it is ready to discuss anything, but when Congress MPs give notices for a discussion, the same are disallowed, Chowdhury alleged.
"What kind of politics is being played by the BJP? They have cornered us from all sides. We are not shown on the television inside the House, we are not allowed to speak inside Parliament," Chowdhury said.
He also said that the protesting farmers have been dubbed as Pakistanis, terrorists and anti-nationals by the BJP-led government, but they are not going to budge.
In Rajya Sabha, Congress MPs Deepender Singh Hooda and Partap Singh Bajwa gave a notice of breach of privilege against the Delhi Police to the Rajya Sabha secretary general, alleging attempts by cops to obstruct them from briefing the media on farmers' issues at Vijay Chowk.