Congress MPs from Punjab on Monday staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here demanding that a Parliament session be called to repeal farm laws that have triggered protests by farmers. Parliamentarians Preneet Kaur, Manish Tewari, Ravneet Bittu, Gurjeet Aujla and Amar Singh held the protest in solidarity with the agitating farmers.
Farmers' organisations, staging protests at Delhi's borders, have called a 'Bharat Bandh' on Tuesday to press their demand for repeal of the three farm laws. The Congress MPs said the government was deliberately not convening the winter session of Parliament where key issues confronting the country, including the farmers agitation, COVID-19 situation, border standoff in eastern Ladakh and economic slowdown, could be discussed.
"If farmers can sit in the open and protest, why can't the government convene Parliament session. This is for the first time since 1952 that the winter session is not being convened. It is very unfortunate," said Tewari. The Lok Sabha member from Anandpur Sahib also said Parliament should discuss the contentious farm laws, the economic situation and COVID-19-related challenges facing the country.
"The standoff with China refuses to die down and the situation has yet not been discussed in Parliament," Tewari said. Congress Rajya Sabha member from Haryana Deepender Hooda also participated in the dharna and said the Centre would have to bow before the farmers' unity.
The farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.