Quit if you can't repeal laws: Cong to Modi

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday asked the Centre why it wants farmer groups opposed to the new agricultural reforms to move the Supreme Court and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should quit if he is not competent enough to repeal them.

People have elected the government and not the Supreme Court, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

He also announced that the Congress will observe ‘Kisan Adhikar Diwas’ (Farmers’ Rights Day) on January 15, when the government and the farmer unions will meet for the next round of talks, and hold ‘Jan Andolans’ at all state headquarters. The party will hold protest marches and gherao the governor’s office in every state.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the party’s general secretaries and in-charges in various states.

“People have elected this government and not the Supreme Court. Then why does the government want people to go to elsewhere?” Surjewala asked.

“The Modi government is answerable to the people for taking decisions and not the Supreme Court. The responsibility of making and repealing the laws wrests with Parliament and not the court,” he said.

He added that if the Modi government is unable to discharge its responsibility, “the Congress wants that you should resign and sit at home as you have no moral authority to remain in power even for a minute”.

Surjewala alleged the farm laws were forcibly passed by the Modi government in Parliament by “crushing democracy”.

“This is the first government in the history of India which is woefully abdicating its responsibility and telling the farmers to approach the Supreme Court and the sooner the Modi government vacates the throne, the better it would be for the country,” he said.

The eighth round of talks between the government and the farmer unions on Friday did not make any headway as the Centre ruled out repealing the three contentious laws while the farmer leaders said they are ready to fight till death and their ‘ghar waapsi’ will happen only after ‘law waapsi’.

Later, prominent farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal told PTI that the government suggested to the unions that why don’t they become a party in the ongoing case on three farm laws in the Supreme Court.

The unions “outrightly” rejected the suggestion, he had said.

Surjewala said the Supreme Court should also introspect as to why the farmers are not ready to approach it.

“When 62 crore farmers in the country refuse to go to the Supreme Court, the court should also look within,” he told reporters.

He asked why the government seeks to find solutions to different issues, be it the Citizenship Amendment Act or the Rafale deal, in the Supreme Court and not in Parliament.

The Congress spokesperson said the farmers will neither tire out nor surrender, and the Modi government should shed its arrogance and repeal the farm laws.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at various border points of Delhi for over a month now, despite the cold weather and heavy rains, to demand the repeal of the three laws.

Enacted in September 2020, the government has presented these laws as major farm reforms aimed at increasing farmers’ income, but the protesting farmers have raised concerns that these legislations would weaken the minimum support price (MSP) and ‘mandi’ (wholesale market) systems, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

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