NEW DELHI: Launching a scathing attack on the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the new farm laws are designed to “destroy” the agriculture sector and hand it over to three or four crony capitalists, asserting that the only solution to the farmers’ issue is to repeal the Acts.
“The three new laws are designed to destroy Indian agriculture. How have they designed to do it, by destroying the mandi, by destroying the Essential Commodities Act and by making sure that no Indian farmer can go to court to protect himself and to me.
It is a tragedy that this entire country is just watching this ridiculous show. It is a tragedy because it shows me that the country itself is not able to understand the depth of what is happening,” Gandhi said at a press conference where he released a booklet highlighting the “plight” of farmers in the wake of the three farm laws.
Responding to a question about BJP president JP Nadda’s remarks that he was distracting the farmers, the former Congress chief said he was not scared of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he was a “clean person” and he would continue to fight alone even if no one sided with him.
“Is J P Nadda my professor that I am answerable to him. Who is he?... I am not scared of Modi or anyone. I am a clean person, and they cannot touch me. They can shoot me. I will stand alone even if everyone is standing on the other side but will fight as it is my religion,” he said.
He said that even during the UPA government, the Congress stood with the farmers in Bhatta Parsaul.
“Our farmers are sitting outside in the cold, I don’t know why Modi Ji thinks, this is something to be proud of. The whole world is looking and saying what is going on,” the Congress leader said.
Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray to take part in protest in Mumbai
MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar will take part in a protest to be staged in Mumbai in support of the farmers’ agitating against Centre’s three new farm laws on borders of New Delhi, state Minister Nawab Malik said on Tuesday.
Some farmers’ organisations have planned to hold protests in Mumbai from January 23 to January 25.
“Sharad Pawar will take part in the protest to be held at Azad Maidan (in south Mumbai) on January 25.
The NCP has opposed the farm laws. The chief minister and leaders of the ruling MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) will also take part,” said Malik, who is the national spokesperson of the NCP.
Thousands of farmers from Nashik in Maharashtra had joined the ongoing protests at the borders of the national capital against the three new agricultural laws.
Inappropriate to raise issues by foreign MPs: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla
NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday said that it’s not appropriate for Parliaments to comment on laws passed by other countries.
Birla made the remark at the virtual meeting of the Standing Committee of the Conference of the Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth, indirectly referring to MPs of various countries raising the contentious farm laws in their House.
“The Covid pandemic has affected the functioning of Parliaments across the world. Even during the pandemic, some important legislative businesses were transacted by the Lok Sabha...,” Birla added.
Notably, MPs in Canada, UK had spoken about the farm protests. Thirty-six British MPs had written United Kingdom foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, urging him to raise their concern with India over the farm protests.