New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) The Congress on Monday organised agitations in state capitals against the new farm laws, which the party alleged will 'enslave' farmers and push them towards 'bonded' farming.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The protests were aimed at making the government listen to the voice of farmers and withdraw the 'anti-farmers' laws, the Congress said and claimed that these laws will abolish minimum support price (MSP) and create corporate monopolies in the farm produce procurement sector.
Chief ministers Amarinder Singh and Ashok Gehlot and party state presidents, leaders, legislators and office bearers assembled at important and iconic sites in state capitals and marched to Raj Bhavans to lodge their protest against this 'vicious' legislations, a statement issued by the Congress said.
Congress workers and leaders in Delhi assembled at the Raj Ghat to march to the Lieutenant Governor's office to hand over a memorandum demanding withdrawal or repealing of three 'black laws', the party said, alleging that they were rounded up and 'forcibly taken away to far away locations in buses'.
Youth Congress activists set on fire a tractor near India Gate in the high-security Lutyens' Delhi, a few hundred metres from the President House and the Parliament, in the morning to voice their protest against the contentious farm laws.
Five of them, who were from the Punjab unit of the outfit, were arrested, police said.
They said that around 20 people carried a tractor on a truck to Rajpath, Man Singh Crossing, unloaded it and set it on fire.
The Punjab Youth Congress activists entered Lutyens' Delhi along with a Punjab Police gypsy, according to police sources.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the struggle against the farm laws is a true tribute to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
'Shaheed Bhagat Singh had said that an exploitative system snatches away the rights of farmers and labourers to benefit capitalists. The BJP government is taking away the MSP of farmers for their millionaire friends and pushing them into bonded farming. The struggle against anti-farmer bills is the true tribute to Bhagat Singh,' Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh along with his ministers and senior leaders assembled at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary.
After paying tributes to the freedom fighter at his memorial, all the leaders sat on a 'Dharna' protesting against the ways of the Modi government.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara met the governor at the Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum urging the immediate withdrawal of these anti-farmers bills.
Similarly Congress leaders and workers in Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Telangana, Assam, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal protested and marched to respective Raj Bhavans and submitted the memorandum, the party said.
Leaders in Maharashtra and Jharkhand met governors and handed over the Congress party memorandum.
In some places like Lucknow and Banaras, Congress workers and leaders were arrested and taken away in buses, the party claimed in the statement.
Protesters from the Congress' youth wing also expressed vehement opposition to the anti-farmer bills at various places, it said.
Towards the evening, Congress president Sonia Gandhi appealed to all Congress-ruled state governments to explore possibilities of bypassing these 'tyrannical' legislation by passing laws in state legislatures so that farmers are spared from the grave injustice done by the central government.
In line with the concerted opposition to these anti-farmers' legislations the party will observe 'Kisan-Mazdoor Bachao Divas' on October 2 by holding dharnas and marches at every assembly and district headquarters across the country, the Congress said.
The Congress is up in arms against the farm legislations and said it will oppose it on the ground.
The party also said it will challenge the new laws in court. PTI SKC ANB ANB