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India: PM Must Stop Baseless Accusations - Repeal Farm Laws - Joint Statement by Opposition Parties | Dec 24, 2020

24 December 2020

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December 24, 2020

Press Release

The joint statement issued by the following political parties – INC, NCP, DMK, J&K:PAGD, RJD, SP, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), AIFB, RSP – is being released to the media.

Joint Statement by Opposition Parties

PM Must Stop Baseless Accusations; Repeal Farm Laws

We, the undersigned, register our strong protest against the baseless allegations being made by Prime Minister Modi accusing the opposition parties of “repeatedly lying” to the farmers about the new farm laws and “using them for their politics”. The Prime Minister’s accusations are a complete travesty of truth.

We, the undersigned, have expressed our solidarity with the protesting farmers. The call for this ongoing historic struggle was given by more than 500 kisan organisations from all over the country under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM). Many of us had opposed these Agri Laws when they were being enacted in the Parliament, without discussions, or, a proper consideration. MPs who sought a vote were suspended.
Amongst the many unsubstantiated accusations made, one of them is that those who spoke of agrarian reforms in election manifestoes earlier but are now opposing. Yes, we are for reforms, but what sort of reforms? Opposition parties seek reforms to strengthen Indian agriculture; enhance the prosperity of our farmers; and ensure continued food security for our people and the country. The present farm laws undermine these very objectives.

Among the “big lies” that the opposition is supposedly spreading is on the MSP. The PM claims implementing the Swaminathan Commission Report in this regard. This Report had recommended an MSP of C2+50 per cent, while this government, at best, implements A2+50 per cent. In fact, this government told the Supreme Court its inability to implement C2+50 per cent MSP. Who is spreading untruths?
Likewise, the accusation that opposition parties are “shooting from the shoulders of the farmers” in order to “regain lost political ground”. Despite all tall claims of improving farmers’ prosperity and implementing a higher MSP, the fact remains that farmers’ distress due to indebtedness is growing leaving a record number of them with no other recourse than committing distress suicides.

The unity, grit and determination being shown by lakhs of farmers from Delhi’s neighbouring states in the midst of a severe cold wave in a peaceful manner and tens of thousands now on their way marching from different places to join this protest is a testimony to the fact that the farmers across the country have risen in opposition to these farm laws. Already 32 farmers have lost their lives.

We, the undersigned, demand that the present Agri Laws be repealed along with the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020. Following this, discussions on agrarian reforms must be held by the Central government with the farmers and all stakeholders. On the basis of these consultations new enactments may be considered by the Parliament, if necessary, by convening a special or a joint session.

Sd/-
Rahul Gandhi [INC], Sharad Pawar [NCP], T. R. Baalu [DMK], Farooq Abdullah [J&K: PAGD], Tejaswi Yadav [RJD], Akhilesh Yadav [SP], Sitaram Yechury [CPI(M)], D. Raja [CPI], Dipankar Bhattacharya [CPI(ML)], Debabrata Biswas [AIFB, Manoj Bhattacharya [RSP]