New Delhi: The Congress on Monday decided to launch a nationwide agitation from September 24 against the government for passing farm bills in Parliament.
The two agricultural reform bills — the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 — were cleared by voice vote in Parliament even as the Opposition protested and stormed the well of the House seeking that they be sent to a select committee.
The authorities called in marshals to form a double-layered barricade to protect Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh and remove an MP, muted live telecast of the proceedings, and refused to accept the Opposition’s demand for a division (voting through paper ballots) on the legislation.
The agitation will continue till the government repeals the “anti-farmer, anti-poor and anti-people laws”, said senior Congress leader AK Antony, addressing the reporters after a meeting of general secretaries and in-charge of states at the party headquarters in Delhi.
“From September 24 onwards, Congress will launch an all-India agitation asking the government to repeal the black laws,” said Antony.
Senior leader Ahmed Patel told reporters that the Congress will take this issue to the people of the country. “The meeting was held under the directions of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi,” he added.
The six-member special committee formed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to help her in organisational and operational matters chaired the meeting in her absence. Accompanied by her son and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi had last week left for the United States for a routine health check-up.
Giving details of the agitation, Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal said the party will have a series of nationwide programmes in support of the farmers.
Apart from a chain of press conferences across the country, Venugopal said state unit chiefs and legislature party leaders along with former ministers, MPs and MLAs will walk to the respective Raj Bhavans and submit a memorandum to Governors to be passed on to President Ram Nath Kovind.