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Rahul Gandhi, Opposition leaders join protesting farmers at Jantar Mantar to highlight demands

The leaders raised slogans with a placard 'Save Farmer, Save India'.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and leaders from 14 other opposition parties on Friday reached Jantar Mantar, Delhi to extend their support to the farmers in their protest against Centre’s three contentious farm laws. The leaders raised slogans with a placard ‘Save Farmer, Save India’.

Apart from Congress, the DMK, the Trinamool, the NCP, the Shiv Sena, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and Delhi’s ruling AAP were at the protest, as were reps from the Left (CPM and CPI), the Muslim League, and the National Conference, news agebcy PTI reported.

Rahul Gandhi said all opposition parties have gathered at Jantar Mantar to extend the support to farmers against Kala Kanoon (farm laws). He also said the opposition parties want discussion over Pegasus but the Centre is not letting it happen. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intercepted every Indian’s phone, he added.

However, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar took a jibe at the opposition parties saying if they are really concerned about farmers, then government is ready to discuss the issues in both Houses. Why is the opposition not ready to talk? This shows they just want to be in the media’s limelight, he added.

Farmers protesting the central laws have been holding a kisan sansad, or farmers’ parliament during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament to draw attention to their demands of repealing the laws.

Today, with the opposition leaders looking on, the ‘farmers’ parliament’ proposed a ‘no confidence’ motion against the Modi government for its handling of their protest against its laws.

Last Monday Gandhi drove a tractor to Parliament to highlight the issue of farmers.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The government has projected the new laws as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the mandi system and middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country. However, the protesting farmers argue that the new laws have no mention of minimum support price (MSP) and the mandis that will leave them at the mercy of big corporates. 

So far, several rounds of talks between the Centre and farmer leaders as farmers are stuck to their demands of repealing the three laws. While the government asked them to consider their offer of deferring the laws to one and half years.

Read Also: PM Modi renames Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

Opposition protests over the farm laws have also led to chaos and repeated adjournments in this session of Parliament, inviting strong criticism from Prime Minister Modi, who has twice now accused the Congress of deliberately stalling the functioning of both House.

In other India news, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award will now be known as the  Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

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