KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday attacked the BJP-led central government over the passage of two farm sector reform bills, claiming that the "anti-farmer" legislations which were bulldozed through the Rajya Sabha by a "fascist" regime will lead to famine.
Urging all opposition parties to come together and fight the bills tooth and nail to protect the rights of farmers, the Trinamool Congress supremo slammed the decision to suspend eight Rajya Sabha MPs for protesting against the farm bills and said that it is a "black day for democracy".
The TMC's leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien and Dola Sen are among the eight lawmakers who were suspended on Monday for the remainder of the Monsoon session of Parliament for "unruly behaviour" during the passage of two farm bills on Sunday.
"These bills will push the country towards famine. They (the Centre) have failed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and are now creating a food pandemic. They will be responsible for this famine," she claimed while addressing a press conference.
"The Centre has done nothing to control the price rise of essential commodities. It bulldozed the two anti-farmer legislations. The farmers will not get MSP (minimum support price) now," Banerjee said.
Two key farm bills were on Sunday passed in the Rajya Sabha by voice vote amid chaotic scenes by opposition members who demanded that they be referred to a House panel for greater scrutiny.
The BJP is trying to silence the opposition by using its brute majority, Banerjee alleged.
"What happened at Parliament yesterday and today is not expected in a democracy.
This is a black day for democracy," the chief minister said.
She said that despite the opposition repeatedly seeking a division on the bills, they were passed through a voice vote as the BJP does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and a number of MPs including those of the saffron partys allies were united against the legislations.
"The rights of farmers were demolished. The Centre is gradually snatching all powers from state governments and running the country like a fascist," she said adding that the BJP does not have the right to sell or loot the country."
"The way the BJP has passed the bills, it has become a shame for this country. Today, opposition parties have united on the farm bill issue. They will also unite on the issue of labour rights later," she said.
Claiming that opposition leaders who are against the "anti-people policies" of the government are being implicated in false cases, Banerjee said that such actions are reflective of a "fascist and Hitler like mindset".
"Those who opposed CAA and NRC were framed in false cases. I might have political differences with (CPI-M leader) Sitaram Yechury, but I would never support if he is framed in false cases," she said.
Supporting the opposition MPs for protesting against the "draconian laws" of the Centre, Banerjee said that they did the right thing.
She later spoke to the eight suspended Rajya Sabha MPs and appreciated their efforts towards "upholding the values of Parliament".
She also announced that the TMC womens' wing would conduct a sit-in against the farm bills from Tuesday in Kolkata.
"Suspension of the 8 MPs who fought to protect farmers interests is unfortunate & reflective of this autocratic Govts mindset that doesn't respect democratic norms & principles. We won't bow down & we'll fight this fascist Govt in Parliament & on the streets. #BJPKilledDemocracy," she tweeted earlier in the day.