Tribune News Service/PTI
New Delhi, December 6
The Congress, NCP, TRS, DMK and the AAP on Sunday joined other opposition parties in extending support to the Bharat bandh on December 8 called by farmer unions, which have been protesting on Delhi’s borders for 11 days, demanding repeal of the new farm laws. The Trinamool Congress, RJD and the Left parties, besides 10 central trade unions, had on Saturday backed the countrywide strike.
NCP chief and former Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar warned the Centre that if the deadlock continued, the agitation would not be limited to Delhi and people from across the country would come in support of the protesting farmers.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Pawar led a grouping of 11 opposition parties to issue a statement today, declaring their support for the bandh. “We extend our solidarity with the farmers’ ongoing struggle and extend our support to their call for Bharat bandh, demanding the withdrawal of retrograde agricultural laws and the electricity amendment Bill,” said a statement signed by Sonia Gandhi, Pawar, DMK’s MK Stalin, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, NC’s Farooq Abdullah, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, CPI(ML)’s Dipankar Bhattacharya, All India Forward Bloc’s Debabrata Biswas and RSP’s Manoj Bhattacharya.
The leaders said the farm laws passed in Parliament “in a brazen anti-democratic manner threaten India’s food security… lay the basis for abolition of the MSP and mortgage Indian agriculture and our markets to the caprices of multinational agri-business corporations.”
The opposition leaders asked the Centre to adhere to democratic processes and meet the “legitimate demands of our kisan-annadatas”. Pawar, whose NCP is part of the Congress-led UPA, said farmers from Punjab and Haryana contributed the most to the country’s agriculture. “I hope wisdom dawns on the government and it takes cognisance to resolve the issue. If this stalemate continues, the protest will not be limited to Delhi, but people from every nook and corner of the country will come in support of the protesting farmers,” he said.
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