Congress stages protest march in Chandigarh, Shimla

Party observes nationwide protest under ‘Kisan Adhikar Diwas’ against the Centre’s farm laws.

Congress workers and leaders of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on Friday held a foot march and demonstrations as a part of party’s observance of a nationwide protest under ‘Kisan Adhikar Diwas’ (Farmers’ Rights Day) against the Centre’s farm laws.

Congress members, including party MLAs led by Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, took out a protest march from the Congress Bhawan in Chandigarh, towards the Punjab Raj Bhawan. Haryana Congress leaders, including the party’s State president Kumari Selja, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and party general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, led Congress workers’ march towards Haryana Raj Bawan in support of farmers’ demands and their ongoing agitation.

The Chandigarh Police detained several protesters after they attempted to cross the barricades erected on the way to the Raj Bhawans of Punjab and Haryana. All of them were later released.

In Shimla, capital of Himachal Pradesh, the protest was led by Congress State chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore.

In Chandigarh, Mr. Jakhar said the Central government was behaving in an absolutely arrogant manner and did not have any respect for democratic practices and public opinion. “It is the arrogance of this government that is preventing it from repealing the laws, which have been rejected outright by the farming community from across the country,” he said.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Hooda said they had sought time to meet the Haryana Governor on several occasions to request him to call a special session of the State Assembly to discuss issues related to farmers. “We want to bring a no-confidence motion against the government in the Assembly, so that every farmer knows which MLA and party stands with them and the people, and which ones stand with the government,” said Mr. Hooda.

“The government is not only ignoring such a big movement, it is also ignoring the martyrdom of farmers and insulting their sacrifice. It is not only the bitter cold, it also the ruthlessness of those in power that is killing the farmers. In such a serious situation, the situation of farmers needs to be discussed in the State Assembly. As a people’s representative, our duty is to raise the voice of the annadata (producer of food) in the House. But it is clear that the government does not want a discussion,” he said.

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