The Congress on Friday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the families of the over 700 farmers who had lost their lives during the year-long agitation against the three controversial farm laws. It also posed five questions to the government on steps to support farmers.
The main Opposition party said the defeat of the BJP in the recent Assembly bypolls has prompted the government to repeal the laws. Several Congress leaders said the government decided to take back the laws fearing a setback in the forthcoming Assembly elections in five states.
“What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections! PM’s announcement on the withdrawal of the three farm laws is not inspired by a change of policy or a change of heart. It is impelled by fear of elections! Anyway, it is a great victory for the farmers and for the Congress party which was unwavering in its opposition to the farm laws,” said Congress leader P Chidambaram.
The party raised five questions before the government. “What is the roadmap for providing a minimum support price to farmers? What is the roadmap for doubling the income of farmers? What is the time limit for rolling back the hike in excise duty of diesel which is hitting the farmers hard? When will the government take back GST imposed on farm implements including fertilizers, seeds, pesticides and tractors, and what is your plan of action on farm loan waiver,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala asked at the press conference.
Terming the repeal of the farm laws a defeat of the PM’s arrogance, Surjewala asked him to apologise to the farmers who were forced to sit on the roads in protest and to the families of the over 700 farmers who had lost their lives in the last one year.