India

Rahul Gandhi-led delegation to meet President with 20 million signatures against farm laws

A delegation of Congress leaders, led by former party chief Rahul Gandhi, will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday to submit around 20 million signatures collected from across the country in the past three months seeking repeal of the three farm laws.

Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal said in a statement that the party had launched a nationwide campaign in September for collecting memoranda of appeals addressed to the President signed by farmers, farm labourers and other stake holders opposing the three new farm legislations.

He said around 20 million signatures seeking the President’s intervention for withdrawal of these laws had been collected till now.

“The government has chosen to brazenly defame, discredit and eventually tire out the lakhs of protesting farmers. The Modi government and its ministers have chosen to insult them,” he alleged.

“The arrogant Modi government having initially duped the farmers by putting on a conciliatory face soon made its intransience apparent. It has become absolutely clear that the Modi government is only committed to the welfare of large corporates instead of innocent farmers and farm labour,” Venugopal said.

“The government has also been on an overdrive using public money to create false propaganda and narrative in favour of the draconian farm laws and discrediting the protesting farmers. It is pushing manufactured surveys in media discourse to create support in favour of these anti-farmer laws,” the Congress leader added.

The Congress had launched its three-month-long “mass movement” against the government for enacting the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Gandhi also undertook a ‘tractor yatra’ across Punjab and Haryana as part of the campaign.

“Lakhs of India’s farmers have been on protest in freezing weather against the three blatantly anti-agriculture laws aimed at bartering their interests in the hands of select crony capitalist friends of the Modi government. They have been blocked from entering Delhi for the last 27 days despite prior notice and peaceful intent,” Venugopal said.

“The three laws have caused immense pain and anguish among the farmers and farm labour across India. The farmers have been agitating and requesting the government to annul these legislations. They are sitting on an indefinite strike against these laws and 44 farmers have already lost their lives during the ongoing protests,” he claimed.

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