Congress strains to ride on farm movement

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 09, 2021

Congress MP Manish Tewari   -  PTI

MPs from Punjab move private members Bill to repeal the three farm laws

Unlike the regional parties such as the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), the Congress has not been able to make inroads into the farmers’ movement, a situation that the party strained to correct with eight of its MPs from Punjab on Tuesday moving a private members bill in the Lok Sabha to repeal the farm laws.

The MPs urged all the 267 Legislators both in the Lower and the Upper House who claim to be agriculturists to move similar Bills in their respective Houses to persuade the government to repeal the three farm laws.

Simultaneously, the Congress announced that party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi will be attending a Mahapanchayat called by the local khaps in Chilkhana village, Saharanpur on Wednesday. The Congress was, incidentally, not included in the all-party delegation of MPs which went to Singhu border last week to express solidarity with the farmers even though the bus ferrying the MPs started from NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s house.

But the party naturally wants to claim the political expression of the resentment against the government that the farm movement has created.

The MPs from Punjab said they would strive to get as many members in both Houses on board as possible.

‘Time to wake up’

According to Manish Tewari, MP from Anandpur Sahib, private members bills have been incorporated as laws in the past as many as 14 times. “This is not a symbolic gesture, this is how democracy should function. If the laws pushed through by brute force in Parliament have provoked thousands who are supposedly benefiting from them, it is the duty of every parliamentarian to re-examine the stature. The laws were pushed without any consensus and were not acceptable even to an ally of the ruling party. Farmers have warned us enough. It is time to wake up,” said Tewari.

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Published on February 09, 2021
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