'How many sacrifices will farmers have to make to get laws repealed'

How many sacrifices will farmers have to make to get laws repealed

New Delhi: Hitting out at the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked the government that how many more sacrifices farmers will have to make to get the legislations repealed.

Citing a media report to claim that 11 farmers had died in the last 17 days while protesting against the new agriculture laws, Rahul Gandhi said, "How many more sacrifices will the farmers have to make to get the agri laws repealed?"

At least five rounds of formal talks have taken place between the Centre and representatives of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, protesting on various borders of the national capital for over two weeks, but the deadlock has continued with the unions sticking to their main demand for the repeal of the three contentious laws.

On the issue, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that despite the "martyrdom of 11 farmer brothers in the last 17 days, the Modi government is not relenting".

"They (government) are still standing with their 'money providers' and not with annadaatas (food providers)," he alleged in a tweet in Hindi.

"The country wants to know – 'Is Rajdharma (constitutional responsibility) bigger or Rajhat (stubbornness)?" Surjewala asked, tagging the media report that Gandhi also cited.

However, Surjewala accused the Modi government of branding every person opposing it a "Maoist" and an "anti-national", and urged the Centre to accede to the demands of the protesting farmers.

The Opposition party's assertion came a day after Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that some "anti-social elements" are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the peasants' movement under the guise of farmers, and appealed to the protesting farming community to be vigilant against their platform being misused.

Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, "Modi, autocracy has no place in democracy. Yours and your ministers' policy is to declare every opponent a Maoist and an anti-national."

"Apologise to the farmers who are on a sit-in braving the fierce cold and rains, and accede to their rightful demands immediately," he said in a tweet.

In another tweet, Surjewala attacked Modi for his remarks on Saturday at an event that the agri reforms will be beneficial for the farmers, saying that farmers want pro-people governance not flowery speeches, and the people in the country want cheap ration.

Attacking the Prime Minister, he said, "The whole country is fed up of your enticing 'lollypops'."

Farmers are protesting the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

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