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Congress delegation meets President, seeks withdrawal of farm laws

Congress delegation meets President, seeks withdrawal of farm laws

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: December 24, 2020 12:46:36 pm

Congress leaders with President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday. (Twitter/@MahilaCongress)

Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and sought withdrawal of the recently-enacted farm laws. Gandhi said he told the President the laws were “anti-farmer” as they would make them suffer huge losses. He said the Opposition stands with the farmers who have been camping at Delhi’s borders for over a month now demanding repeal of the legislations.

Speaking to the media, Gandhi said, “I want to tell the Prime Minister that these farmers are not going to go back home until the laws are repealed. The government should convene a joint session of Parliament and take back the laws.

“We took crores of signatures… the voices of farmers. The PM will have to listen to them. The entire country is watching. It is cold, and the farmers are suffering, dying. I am warning you. Nobody can stand against the farmers,” he added.

Earlier, Gandhi had attempted to lead a delegation of Congress leaders to the Rashtrapati Bhavan but was stopped by the Delhi Police. Several leaders including general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and K C Venugopal, and senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, were detained.

The delegation, comprising leaders in both Houses of Parliament and senior party members, was hoping to submit a petition signed by nearly 2 crore farmers and farm labourers from across the country.

Priyanka said it was the government’s duty to listen to the farmers. “They will have to take the responsibility. They are answerable to the people of India. A resolution can come only when they listen,” she told reporters.

Venugopal called the police action a “violation” of rights, and said the party “must be allowed to voice (our) concerns as the principle Opposition”.

The Congress, which has accused the government of passing the “anti-farmer” legislations in an “undemocratic fashion”, launched its signature campaign against the farm laws in September. The party had asked its state units to collect signatures from farmers and Agriculture Produce Market Committee traders.

A video posted by the party on Twitter this morning showed an assembly of leaders at the Congress headquarters ahead of the march. Pictures of trucks loaded with boxes of signed petitions were also shared.

“Today is a big day in the fight for farmers’ justice… Those who feed will win, and arrogant Modi will lose,” Surjewala tweeted.

“Congress party leaders led by Rahul Gandhi ji are taking the struggle of farmers today to the Hon’ble President of India seeking his intervention to annul the anti-farmer laws. An appeal signed by around 2 crore farmers and farm labourers from across the nation would be submitted,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said.

Lakhs of farmers are camping at Delhi’s borders, demanding a repeal of the three contentious laws.

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