Rahul Gandhi, Opposition leaders attend farmers’ parliament

New Delhi, Aug 6 (UNI) Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, along with Opposition leaders from 14 parties, attended an ongoing ‘Kisan Sansad’ at Jantar Mantar, and said Opposition will not relent till the new farm laws are abolished.

As stalemate continues in the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the leaders held a strategy meet on Friday morning. Later, they marched out of Parliament, and arrived at the protest site in two buses.

The Opposition leaders sat on seats designated as ‘visitors’ gallery’ along with others, and did not speak from the dais. They were present there for around an hour.

Talking to media after attending the ‘mock parliament’, Rahul Gandhi extended support to the farmers and said: “All Opposition parties are united in their support to the farmers.”

Asked about the Opposition’s demand of a debate on the issue, he said: “Debate is not enough, the black laws have to be abolished.”

He also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Pegasus snooping controversy, and slammed the government for not allowing a discussion on the issue.

“Everyone knows what is happening in Parliament, we want debate on Pegasus and government is not allowing. Modi ji has entered every Indian’s phone,” he said.

On Friday, the farmers’ parliament discussed a ‘no-confidence motion’.

Farmer groups have been sitting at the borders of Delhi since November 26, 2020, to protest against the new farm laws.

Darshan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union and member of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, thanked the Opposition leaders from the dais for their support against the farm laws.

“We are thankful that the Opposition has continued protests in Parliament, and has created trouble for the government. We hope they will continue the protest,” he said.

Pal added that a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price for crops should be passed by Parliament soon.

The Opposition visit to Jantar Mantar came after a strategy meet on Friday morning. The parties that attended the meeting included Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, RJD, Samajwadi Party, CPI-M, AAP, CPI, IUML, RSP, NC and LJD.

MPs present at Jantar Mantar included Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, RJD’s Manoj Jha and DMK’s Tiruchi Siva.

A delegation of TMC MPs, meanwhile, visited Jantar Mantar ahead of the Opposition leaders’ visit, and the party was not part of the delegation. TMC MPs Prasun Banerjee, Dola Sen and Aparupa Poddar had visited the protesting farmers of Friday morning.

On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi had called a breakfast meeting of Opposition leaders, which was followed by a cycle march to Parliament. Last week, the former Congress president had staged a protest riding a tractor to Parliament.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament has been marred by protests as Opposition has been demanding a debate on the Pegasus snooping controversy with a reply by Home Minister Amit Shah.

Opposition parties have also demanded for discussion on the farmers’ issue and the ongoing protests along with the three new farm laws that they want to be abolished.

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