New Delhi, Jan 2 (PTI) The Congress on Saturday urged the government to abandon its 'obstinate attitude' and agree to the demands of the farmers protesting the new farm laws amid cold weather conditions.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said reports of deaths of farmers while protesting at the Delhi border amid harsh winter conditions are 'disturbing'.
'According to media reports, 57 farmers have lost their lives while scores are unwell. The government is showing gross insensitivity by not acceding to the demands of the protesting farmers,' said the Congress general secretary and its Uttar Pradesh in-charge.
Reacting to a media report that a protesting farmer had reportedly committed suicide, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet, 'After Sant Baba Ram Singh from Karnal (Haryana) and Amarjeet Singh from Fazlika (Punjab), the news of Kashmir Singh from Bilaspur (Uttarakhand) sacrificing life in the farmers' movement is very distressing.' 'The ruthless government should abandon its obstinate attitude and withdraw the three black laws immediately,' Surjewala said in the tweet in Hindi.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram saluted the resoluteness of the farmers.
'The government must relent and agree to keep the farm laws in abeyance pending its repeal. Any new law must take into account the needs and desires of the farming community,' he tweeted.
After the sixth round of formal negotiations on Wednesday, the government and farm unions reached some common ground to resolve protesting farmers' concerns over rise in power tariff and penalties for stubble burning, but the two sides remained deadlocked over the main contentious issues of the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP).
Braving the cold, thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at various borders of the national capital for more than a month against these three new laws.
The government has presented these laws as major agriculture reforms aimed at helping farmers and increasing their income, but the protesting unions fear that the new legislations have left them at the mercy of big corporates by weakening the MSP and mandi systems. PTI ASK TIR TIR