Ashwani Kumar (File photo/ANI)
Ashwani Kumar (File photo/ANI)

Centre should suspend 'controversial' farm laws, says former Union Minister Ashwani Kumar

By Amit Kumar | Updated: Dec 03, 2020 19:11 IST

New Delhi [India], December 3 (ANI): The central government should suspend the three 'controversial' farm laws and respect the sentiments of the community for whose benefit the laws are stated to have been passed, senior Congress leader and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said on Thursday.
In the backdrop of the fourth round of talks with the farmer protesting at the gates of Delhi today, Kumar urged the Centre to repeal the newly enacted agricultural laws without standing on their prestige.
Speaking to ANI, the Congress leader said, "It is indeed a strange situation where the ostensible beneficiaries of laws believe that these controversial laws are in fact detrimental to their interests and yet these are being imposed on them. In free India, we don't want a Pagri Sambhal Jatta moment which will bring shame to our democracy," he said while adding that the "intensity" of the farmers' protests against the said laws, the "anger and alienation that we see in their eyes foretell a story unprecedented internal unrest".
Kumar believes that any "democratic government" responsive to public sensitivities would have averted this "wholly avoidable situation" though early and meaningful discussions with the protesting farmers. "Instead the government resorted to tear gas and water cannons on a cold November night against the nation's defenders and feeders."
The former Union Minister said that the writing on the wall is clear. If not urgently resolved to the satisfaction of farmers the situation could become ugly and the protest irreversible. Such a result could prove a grave threat to internal stability and security of the nation, the former Member of Parliamen told ANI.
The fourth round of talks underway with the farmers protesting at the gates of Delhi, hopes for a resolution run high on both ends -- farmers and the government -- as they commit to continuing the dialogue and reach a positive outcome.
Before the meeting, the Union Agriculture Minister while talking to media persons hoped that the fourth round of dialogue will bring some positive outcome to the farmers' issues.
"Government is constantly discussing issues with farmers. Today is the fourth round of talks and I'm hoping for a positive outcome," said Tomar.
Previously on December 1, during a round of talks with Tomar and other leaders, the farmers had refused the tea invitation from the government stating that they had come to demand their right from the government and not to drink tea.
At talks with representatives of farmers' this afternoon at Vigyan Bhawan, Union Agriculture Minister Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash represented the Central government.
Notably, farmers have warned that Thursday's talks are the "last chance" for the government to take a decision on the laws.
"Thursday is the last chance for the government to take a decision to repeal the laws. Otherwise, this movement will become huge and the government will fall," Pratibha Shinde of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha said.
Meanwhile, two farmers, who were participating in the agitation died on Wednesday. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs each to the families of the farmers, hailing from districts Mansa and Moga respectively.
The farmers are protesting against The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)