Opposition plans nationwide protest against farm bills, Mamata Banerjee shames Centre
New Delhi/IBNS: Opposition parties and farmers' groups across the country, including the Congress and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), have announced plans to launch rigorous protests against the two controversial farm bills cleared by the Modi government in Rajya Sabha on Sunday.
The bills, already cleared in the Lok Sabha, now awaits the assent of the President before they can become law.
The opposition parties have called the bills "absolute and total murder of democracy" in Parliament.
Eighteen opposition parties have also written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind requesting him to not sign the farm bills.
In their letter to Ram Nath Kovind, the oppositions stated: "We, belonging to diverse political parties cutting across India's political and geographical spectrum, bring this representation to you to respectfully draw your urgent attention to the absolute and total murder of democracy, ironically in the most hallowed temple of democracy, parliament."
"We pray that you return the bills and do not append your signature. We pray that you exert all powers, constitutional and moral, to ensure such a black law does not become law..."
Joint Letter to the President of India by 15 political parties opposing the two anti-farmer bills passed in the Parliament. pic.twitter.com/qSmeXHjrh0— Congress (@INCIndia) September 21, 2020
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also said that her party would protest the bills and called the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government a shame for the country.
"The way the farmers' bills were passed, I say, chi BJP chi (shame BJP shame). The BJP is a shame for the country. Shame, shame BJP for the way you have grabbed farmers' rights," Banerjee during a press briefing in Kolkata this afternoon.
"We will ring bells and blow conch shells and tell the people we don't need this BJP government anymore. This BJP government needs to go. This BJP government is a government of shame. This central BJP government is a 'chi chi' government. If the people ask today, Emperor, where are your clothes, how will you reply," she added.
She declared that the Trinamool Mahila Congress would sit on dharna at the Gandhi statue in Kolkata on Tuesday in order to protest against the farm bills.
The Congress and other opposition parties are also set to demonstrate with a number of rally on Friday.
The BKU will hold a nationwide protest and carry out roadblocks.
The Aam Aadmi Party has also stated that they would support a farmers' strike in Punjab on that day, one which has been called for by at least 30 farmers' organisations.
Punjab AAP will also hold a protest a day before that by forming human chains across the state.
Meanwhile, eight opposition Rajya Sabha MPs were earlier in the day suspended for their "unruly behaviour" while protesting against the passing of two key farm bills by the government in Parliament's upper house a day ago.
The eight MPs, who have been suspended by Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for a week, were Trinamool Congress (TMC)'s Derek O'Brien and Dola Sen, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s Sanjay Singh, Congress' Rajeev Satav, Syed Nasir Hussain and Ripun Borah and CPI-M's KK Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem.
According to reports, the MPs will spend the night on the lawns of the Parliament building before joining other opposition leaders to march to President Ram Nath Kovind's official residence to bring his attention to the issue.
However, amid the farmers' protests across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said new farm laws will only allow peasants to sell their productions in their own terms.
"The law amendment is not against the Krishi Mandy. Whoever is saying the Krishi Mundy will cease to exist is lying," said the PM.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill seeks to give farmers the freedom to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
The second one- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020-enables farmers to get into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.
(Protest images: UNI)