Farmer agitation will continue till Centre repeals farm laws: UP Congress chief

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Mathura (UP), Feb 17 (PTI) The ongoing agitation against the Centre's three contentious farm laws will continue till these are repealed, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu said on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters here, he alleged that the central government is using its majority in Parliament to crush the voice of opposition and impose the three laws on farmers.

The Congress party will continue its agitation peacefully in a Gandhian way till the three farm laws are repealed, Lallu said.

He said the Congress has been opposing the bills since their introduction in Parliament, followed by a massive tractor rally in Haryana and Punjab by former party president Rahul Gandhi.

He alleged that the BJP-led government has 'put into cold storage' its pre-poll promises of doubling farmers' income, implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan commission on farmers and farm loan waiver.

On the contrary, the government is indirectly encouraging hoarding of farm produce and dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism, he alleged.

He said under the leadership of Congress in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the first phase of agitation started on February 10 and will continue till February 21. A Kisan Mahapanchayat of Priyanka Gandhi will be held in Mathura on February 19, he said.

In the next phase, the agitation will begin on February 25 and continue for a fortnight.

The Congress leader also alleged that the country is passing through an 'undeclared emergency' wherein opponents are implicated in false cases.

Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at Delhi's borders against the laws since November 28 last year and demanding they be withdrawn.

They are protesting against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

The government has maintained that the laws will benefit the farmers.

The government has held 11 rounds of negotiation with protesting farmers and these have remained inconclusive. PTI CORR SMN SMN