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Oppn MPs write to Speaker after not being allowed to meet farmers

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
Last updated on: February 05, 2021 02:46 IST
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MPs from 10 Opposition parties on Thursday wrote a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla saying that the situation at Ghazipur border was like that of India-Pakistan border and condition of farmers resembles prisoners in jail.


IMAGE: NCP leader Supriya Sule -- accompanied by TMC MP Saugata Roy, right, and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut, left -- displays a letter written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, with names of the opposition MPs who weren't allowed to meet the protesting farmers at Ghazipur Border, at Parliament House, during the ongoing Budget Session, in New Delhi, on Thursday. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Fifteen MPs from these parties including the Shiormani Akali Dal, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Trinamool Congress were stopped by police from meeting the protesting farmers at Ghazipur border in the morning.

According to SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal who coordinated the visit, the leaders were not allowed to cross the barricades and reach the protest site.

Besides Badal, Supriya Sule from NCP, Kanimozhi and Tiruchi Siva from DMK and Saugata Roy from TMC were part of the delegation besides members of the National Conference, the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Indian Union Muslim League.

After Lok Sabha adjourned for the day, Opposition MPs including Sule and Roy met Birla and gave him the letter claiming they were not allowed to meet protesting farmers by police.

'The impression we got at the Delhi Ghazipur border is like the border between India and Pakistan. The condition of farmers resemble that of prisoners in jail,' they said in the letter.

Asking whether they are living in a 'police state', the MPs said despite elected representatives, they were not allowed to meet farmers' representatives.

During a discussion in Parliament on Thursday, several opposition parties asked the government to withdraw the three contentious farm laws without making it a prestige issue and not to treat the agitating farmers as 'enemies'.

Stringent security continued at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, one of the key protest sites where thousands of farmers are camping with a demand that the Centre repeal the new agri-marketing laws enacted last September.

The protesting farmers have expressed the apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.

Eleven rounds of formal talks between the government and the protesting farmer unions have failed to break the deadlock.

While unions have stuck to their main demand of repeal of the laws and legal guarantee of MSP, the government has offered some concessions including keeping these laws on hold for 1-1.5 years.

Even the Supreme Court has stayed the laws for two months and set up a panel to look into the matter.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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