New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday demanded a complete rollback of the three contentious central farm laws as he attended a protest by the Punjab unit of Aam Aadmi Party at the historic Jantar Mantar here.
The Delhi Police later said they briefly detained AAP MP Bhagwant Mann and over a hundred protesting workers after “they started getting agitated”.
Addressing his Punjab party workers at the protest, Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party has a very clear stance on the farm laws. 'We want a complete rollback of the three laws. It is non-negotiable.' 'Second, a law on MSP (Minimum Support Price) must be brought in the country. Bring a new law to guarantee 100 per cent MSP. The whole of Delhi is standing with farmers in this fight and as Delhi chief minister, I support you in this protest.' Kejriwal said some parties are indulging in politics over the contentious farm laws.
“There is a national party in Punjab with a very celebrated leader. When the BJP formed a committee to draft this bill, the party leader was present in the committee, who drafted the clauses of the bill to be passed by the Centre. But now, they are playing games and doing tractor rallies,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal further said that another party leader was a part of the Union cabinet that approved the bill and congratulated the BJP for passing the bill.
“She sat in the Lok Sabha while the bill was being passed, and then resigned after the bill was passed,” he said, without naming SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal who quit the Modi government over these laws.
'Do they think people do not understand their intent and actions? Now they are taking out tractor rallies and holding dharnas against a law that is being brought and passed by themselves,' he said.
He also claimed the BJP promised to implement the Swaminathan Commission report but is now doing the exact opposite of what was recommended in it.
'When they came asking for votes, they said they will implement the Swaminathan report, but after winning what did they do? They are removing the MSP,” he said.
“When our government was formed in Delhi, government schools and hospitals were in bad shape. So what did we do? We did not shut them, we improved them. The BJP has betrayed the farmers of this country,' he said.
Apart from Mann, Kejriwal was joined by senior party leaders including Sanjay Singh and other MLAs.
After the chief minister left, the Delhi Police detained Mann along with 136 Punjab AAP leaders and volunteers.
Police said no permission was granted to them for holding the protest as agitations have not been allowed as per the guidelines of the DDMA (Department Of Delhi Disaster Management Authority) in view of the coronavirus.
A senior police official said they allowed the protest as long as it was peaceful “but then they started getting agitated so we detained them”.
The AAP members were later released.
Before he was detained, Mann said the AAP has been opposing these “black laws” since the first day. “These deadly laws cannot be accepted in any case. They are not only anti-farmer but anti-public, anti-Punjab, and anti-country. They are being imposed in a dictatorial manner. The party is standing like a rock with the struggle of the farmers.' 'We are against the Badals and the Congress, at whose hands the farmers are struggling. As the state president, all the AAP MLAs, leaders, and volunteers are instructed to strengthen the struggle of the farmers as farmers, labourers, agriculturists, sons and daughters of transporters, and not as AAP members,' he said.
The three laws -- Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 -- took effect from September 27 after President Ram Nath Kovind's assent.
The farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre's farm laws would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporates.
The government has maintained that the farm laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. PTI UZM NIT TIR TIR