January 28, 2021 4:23:13 am
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday called for an inquiry into the violence in Delhi on Republic Day during a tractor rally of farmers protesting against three agricultural laws the Centre enacted last September. The party asked how some of the protesters stormed the Red Fort.
The statement came on a day the party issued a whip to its West Bengal MLAs, asking them to be present in the state Assembly on Thursday to discuss a resolution demanding the repeal of the farm laws. The discussions will be held for two-and-a-half hours on the second day of a two-day special Assembly session that started on Wednesday.
“Who were those who entered the Red Fort [during the protests on Tuesday]? The incident is very painful. Over the last two months, they [farmers] have protested peacefully in the cold. How did a small fraction of them go to the Red Fort, and breach the security cover? Why did the [central] government have no prior information?” asked senior TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, demanding a thorough investigation.
Saying that the farm Bills should have been sent to a parliamentary select committee before being passed, Trivedi added, “Who influenced them? What was the reason? I feel the government must look into it. We support the farmers’ protest. We want the government to withdraw the laws. What was the hurry? You could have high numbers in Parliament but that doesn’t mean you will bulldoze everything.”
Trivedi compared the farmers’ protests to TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee’s 25-day fast in December 2006 against land acquisition for a Tata car factory in Singur. Following Tuesday’s violence, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said the Centre’s “insensitive attitude” and indifference towards farmers should be blamed for the violent protests.
State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said that “there should be an independent inquiry into the Red Fort incident”. “The incident is very painful like CM Mamata Banerjee has already said. Their protest was very peaceful in the last two months. The Centre showed an unsympathetic attitude and took their demands very lightly. If I directly say that the government was at fault or the farmers are at fault it won’t be fair. Why did a peaceful protest suddenly turn into something like this? There should be a probe,” he added.
On Thursday, West Bengal is expected to become the sixth non-BJP ruled state after Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Kerala and Delhi to pass a resolution against the agricultural laws.
It will be tabled under Rule 169, which allows the government to pilot a resolution in the Assembly. The TMC’s attempts to table a joint resolution with the Congress and the Left Front failed as they wanted to introduce it under Rule 185, which allows any party to move a resolution in the House.
“They [Congress and Left] wanted to bring the same resolution under Rule 185. What is the point of bringing two resolutions on the same issue under two different rules? When the government has submitted a resolution, it is expected that it will be accepted,” state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee had said on Monday following an all-party meeting chaired by Speaker Biman Banerjee.
In response, Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan of the Congress questioned the TMC’s moral authority to table the resolution, saying it had enacted similar laws a few years back.
Both Mannan and CPI(M) legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty have said their parties will back the resolution.
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