Leaders of 14 opposition parties met at Parliament House and decided to visit the protest site, where a select group of farmer leaders have been holding a Kisan Sansad (farmers’ parliament) since July 22 to mark seven months of the protests at Delhi's border points against the laws.
Keen to signal that farmers’ issue are still high on their agenda, senior opposition leaders led by Congress’s Rahul Gandhi on Friday extended their solidarity to the protesting farmers and joined their Kisan Sansad at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
Leaders of 14 opposition parties met at Parliament House and decided to visit the protest site, where a select group of farmer leaders have been holding a Kisan Sansad (farmers’ parliament) since July 22 to mark seven months of the protests at Delhi’s border points against the laws.
Gandhi and the other leaders reiterated that the three controversial laws should be withdrawn. “Today all opposition parties together decided to support the farmers and demand the withdrawal of the three farm laws,” Gandhi said. “We want to give our entire support to all the farmers of the country.”
The opposition leaders neither spoke from the podium of the Kisan Sansad nor were they seated on the dais.
“They don’t want their dais to be used by anybody…. We respect that. But they have not stopped anybody from showing the act of solidarity. Today’s march was in the context that the opposition had fought against these farm laws inside the Parliament and voicing the solidarity in favour of the movement which has entered roughly the ninth month,” said RJD leader Manoj Kumar Jha.
Apart from Gandhi and Jha, other opposition leaders present at Jantar Mantar were Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, CPI (M) leader Elamaram Kareem, CPI leader Binoy Viswam, IUML leader Mohammed Bashir and DMK leader Tiruchi Siva.
However, AAP and TMC leaders were not present. A three-member delegation of TMC MPs – Prasun Banerjee, Dola Sen and Aparupa Poddar – visited the protest site separately.
Asked about the government’s willingness to hold a discussion on the issue, Gandhi said, “It will not work with a discussion on the farm laws and these black laws will have to be withdrawn.”
He also alleged that the government is not allowing the opposition to raise the Pegasus snooping issue in Parliament.
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