Gujarat: Congress MLAs observe silence for 'martyred' farmers

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Gandhinagar, Mar 23 (PTI) Congress MLAs on Tuesday observed a two-minute silence for '250 farmers who were martyred' at Delhi borders during protests against the three farm laws in the Gujarat Assembly even as members of the BJP refused to join and a minister accused the Opposition party of politicising the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh and others.

During the discussion on monetary demands of state agriculture department, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani suddenly started speaking about freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on the occasion of 'Shaheed Diwas'.

Dhanani said tributes should be paid to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev by observing a two-minutes silence.

He then proposed that the House should also pay tribute to 'over 250 farmers martyred on Delhi borders while protesting against Centre' three farm laws'.

'While the three freedom fighters laid their lives for India's Independence, these 250 farmers gave their lives to save the agriculture sector. All of us should observe a two-minute silence for the freedom fighters as well as for those 250 farmers,' said Dhanani.

Objecting to the Congress' demand, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the Opposition party was deliberately mixing up Bhagat Singh's martyrdom with the death of protesting farmers in a bid to derive a political mileage.

'Did Congress pay tributes to farmers when policemen shot dead 19 protesting farmers under the Congress rule in Gandhinagar in Gujarat in 1987?' asked Patel.

The shooting had taken place when some agriculturists were staging protests demanding a better price for their produce.

'Your demand has brought disrespect to the martyrdom of those three freedom fighters. The Congress should first tell us why 19 farmers were killed under its rule,' he said.

Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting against the three farm laws at Delhi borders since November, 2020.

Ignoring Patel, MLAs of the Congress stood up and observed a two-minute silence while members of the BJP didn't join and Patel continued with his speech.

After observing the silence, some MLAs of the Congress rushed to well of the House. Some of them sat on floor and raised slogans against the BJP.

After some time, around 50 MLAs of the party present in the House walked out in protest. PTI PJT PD NSK NSK