November 30, 2021 5:15:41 am
As both the Houses of Parliament cleared the passage of a Bill repealing three controversial agricultural laws on Monday, the major Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh lashed out at the BJP government for doing so without discussion, especially on the death of farmers during the protests that have gone on for over a year.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati demanded a proper law to define the Minimum Support Price for crops. She hailed the repeal of the laws as the victory of democracy but pointed out that the Centre was silent on the demands of farmers on a guaranteed MSP. She called for a discussion in Parliament about taking “solid steps” for the upliftment of farmers.
On November 21, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions leading the protests, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately resume talks on the protesting farmers’ six demands, including a legal guarantee for the procurement of crops at MSP.
“The Centre is still silent on easing the problems of the farmers, especially the demand of ensuring legal guarantee for MSP. There is a need for a positive initiative by the Centre so that the farmers can return to their homes happily,” the BSP president tweeted.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement two weeks ago announcing the repeal of the legislation was hollow as the Bill withdrawing the laws was cleared without a discussion on farmers’ demands regarding MSP and the Lakhimpur Kheri “massacre”.
“Seven hundred farmers became martyrs but not a word was spoken about them nor was any homage paid to them…The proceedings of Parliament were carried out without any discussion on the three farm laws, demands related to MSP and the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre,” Priyanka Gandhi said, adding, “Modi ji, your words are hollow. You are not a well-wisher of farmers, you only seek votes.”
On October 3, a convoy of cars, one of which belonged to Union minister Ajay Mishra, mowed down protesters at Tikonia crossing in Lakhimpur Kheri, killing four farmers and a local journalist.
Hitting out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav said the people of Uttar Pradesh needed a “yogya [capable]” government and not the “Yogi” government.
Akhilesh said if his party formed the government in the state next year it would give Rs 25 lakh to the families of each of the 700 farmers who died during the protests.
“There should have been a discussion on the farm laws, which have been withdrawn. While BJP should have informed how the repeal has benefited the farmer, the Opposition should have got the chance to raise the issue,” said Akhilesh.
— With PTI inputs
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