Skip to main content

Farm laws: Sonia calls for unity, discipline amidst 'worries' of opposition failure

By Our Representative

Close on the heels of the Supreme Court suspending the three farm laws and appointing a four-person committee to open dialogue with the Government of India and farmer leaders for finding a solution to the powerful resistance to them, 10 opposition parties came together on a civil society organisation (CSO) platform to  express unanimous solidarity with the farmers’ struggle for the repeal of the laws.
Speaking at the CSO-sponsored virtual Janta Parliament’s kisan session with political representatives, political leaders agreed that a special Parliament meet should be convened to discuss legalisation of minimum support price (MSP) as well as other aspects of the current agrarian crisis. 
A suggestion was made that two or three days could be set aside during the budget session, starting on January 29, exclusively for this. August last year, CSOs held six virtual Janata Parliament sessions, one of them being on agriculture.  
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who sent a message to the virtual Janta Parliament, insisted on the need for “unity, discipline and commitment” to combat forces that are "inflicting untold suffering on kisans and khet mazdoors" through the three laws. 
Assuring that the Congress would take up the farmers’ issue at the upcoming Parliament session, she said, the Congress-led state assemblies “have already passed laws that reject the farms laws passed by the Central government.” She added, “The Constitution permits this. We will continue to press for their approval according to Constitutional provisions. Undoubtedly, the Prime Minister will place hurdles on our way but we will persevere.”
Commenting on the formation of the Supreme Court committee to open a dialogue on the farm laws, speakers at the Janta Parliament wondered why shouldn’t the government go in for implementing decisions of previous committees. A report already by the Swaminathan Committee already exists. The government needs to implement it report.
K Raju and Rajeev Gowda of the Indian National Congress said,  the party supports the demand for a legal MSP that is backed by procurement. Dipankar Bhattacharya of CPI-ML asserted, there should be repeal and not a pause of the farms laws. He added, the public distribution system must be universalised to ensure food security as well as higher procurement of crops by the government.
D Raja of CPI said that the real purpose of the three farm laws is to serve the corporates. Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of the Trinamool Congress underlined, Parliament was undermined while passing the three laws, adding, agriculture is essentially a state subject and these laws intrude upon the states' jurisdiction. 
Journalist-activist P Sainath pleaded for formation of Save Farmer, Save Nation committees to organise ground-level boycott of products by corporates that harm farmers
Prof Manoj K Jha of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), one of the parties that has gone to the Supreme Court over the farm laws, regretted, governments around the world have taken advantage of the pandemic, adding, the opposition parties have not done enough as they have still not got out of their comfort zones to resist the various autocratic measures taken by the government. He announced, on January 30, in Bihar, RJD and other opposition parties will be forming a human chain to oppose the farm laws.
Dr D Ravikumar, MP from the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi party said due to the way that the Parliament was organised during the pandemic, there wasn’t sufficient time to discuss the farm laws, adding, some of them were getting time to address the Parliament at midnight. Ghanshyam Tiwari of the Samajwadi Party added, Amazon and other online marts will soon be selling farmers’ produce along with Adanis and Ambanis at the backend.
Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M) said that his party stands with the farmers’ position to not talk to any committee. He asked, if consultations are being held now, what was the need to pass these laws in a truncated session of Parliament without a proper vote? He said that the government – and not any committee – must speak to the farmers and all other stakeholders and then bring any new laws.
Former member of Sonia Gandhi-formed National Advisory Council under UPA-1, Aruna Roy, a Right to Information activist, asked political parties present at the Janta Parliament to spread awareness about the three farm laws via their district level committees, adding, political parties should ask the Gram Sabhas to pass a resolution to repeal the three farm laws on January 26. 
Journalist-activist P Sainath, who specialises on rural issues, pleaded for the formation of ‘Save Farmer, Save Nation’ committees and organise a ground-level boycott of the products by corporates which are directly harming the farmers.

Comments

Anonymous said…
It is difficult to understand how the B team (Sonia bahen) of the BJP is asking for opposition unity

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

Tussle between Modi-led BJP govt, Young India 'key to political battle': NAPM

Counterview Desk  In its month-long campaign, civil rights network National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) carried out what it called Young People's Political Persecution and Resistance in “solidarity with all comrades facing political persecution and remembering human rights defender Stan Swamy…”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.

Debt bondage, forced labour, sexual abuse in Gujarat's Bt cottonseed farms: Dutch study

By Rajiv Shah  A just-released study, sponsored by a Netherlands-based non-profit, Arisa , “Seeds of Oppression Wage sharecropping in Bt cottonseed production in Gujarat, India”, has said that a new form of bondage, or forced labour, exists in North India’s Bt cottonseed farms, in which bhagiyas, or wage sharecroppers, are employed against advances and are then often required to work for years together “without regular payment of wages.”

Covid: We failed to stop religious, political events, admits Modi-dharmacharya meet

Counterview Desk An email alert sent by one the 11 participants, Prof Salim Engineer, on behalf of the Dharmik Jan Morcha regarding their "religious leaders' online meet" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as offering "support to meet challenges of Corona pandemic", blames religious congregations, though without naming the Maha Kumbh and other religious events, which apparently were instrumental in the spread of the second wave.