Oppn demands joint session of Parliament to repeal farm laws

Oppn demands joint session of Parliament to repeal farm laws

New Delhi: Escalating their demand for repealing the controversial farm laws, the leaders of Opposition parties on Thursday urged President Ram Nath Kovind for calling a joint parliament session to repeal all the three farm laws.

In a joint statement, Opposition party leaders also termed the allegations made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has accused the parties of lying to the farmers, as "baseless", stating that such accusations are a "complete travesty of truth".

Expressing their solidarity with the protesting farmers, leaders of Congress, NCP, DMK, PAGD, RJD, SP, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), AIFB and RSP in a joint statement said, "PM must stop baseless accusations. We register our strong protest against the baseless allegations being made by Prime Minister Modi, accusing the opposition parties of "repeatedly lying" to the farmers about the new farm laws and using them for their politics. The PM's accusations are a complete travesty of truth."

Meanwhile, in a high voltage drama, senior party leaders, including general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were stopped by police and taken to Mandir Marg police station in the national capital. Only a three-member delegation of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury led by Rahul Gandhi met the president.

Talking to reporters after meeting the President, Rahul Gandhi said, "We told the President that the farm laws are anti-farmers and anti-workers. The government keeps on saying that this is for the benefits of farmers but we want to reiterate that the farmers are against these laws. I want to tell the Prime Minister that the farmers are not going back and will continue to register their protest. The entire opposition stands with them."

"A joint sitting of Parliament should be called and the bills should be withdrawn. These bills were passed without any deliberation or scrutiny. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have to listen. No force can stop farmers and workers. The singular aim of BJP and Modi is to help raise money for crony capitalists," he said, adding that there is no democracy in India, it is only in imagination, not in reality.

"We have expressed our solidarity with the protesting farmers. The call for this ongoing historic struggle was given by more than 500 kisan organisations from all over the country under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM). Many of us had opposed these agri laws when they were being enacted in Parliament without discussions or proper consideration. MPs who sought a vote were suspended," the opposition leaders said in the statement.

The joint statement has been signed by NCP's Sharad Pawar, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, CPI's D Raja, RSP's Manoj Bhattacharya, Congress' Rahul Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury, Debabrata Biswas of the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), TR Baalu of the DMK, Akhilesh Yadav of SP and Dipankar Bhattacharya of the CPI(ML).

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