Parliament was denied opportunity to examine farm laws: Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, January 22, 2021
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday slammed the Centre on the farmers' issue. During a crucial Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting here, she said it was abundantly clear that the three new Central farm laws were prepared in "haste and Parliament was consciously denied an opportunity to examine in any meaningful detail the implications and impact".
She said the government has shown "shocking insensitivity and arrogance while going through the charade of consultations".
She also raised the issue of the alleged chat leak of journalist Arnab Goswami over the Balakot airstrike in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed.
Speaking at the CWC meeting, Sonia Gandhi said, "Parliament will reconvene in a week's time. It is the Budget session of course. But there are so many pressing issues of public concern that need to be debated and discussed fully. Whether the government will agree to it, however, remains to be seen."
Discussing the farmers' agitation over the three farm laws, which has been going on for past 58 days at several borders of the national capital, the Congress leader said, "The agitation of the farmers continues and the government has shown shocking insensitivity and arrogance while going through the charade of consultations."
Launching a tirade against the government over the way in which the three farm laws were passed, Gandhi said her party's position on the farm laws has been very clear from the very beginning.
"We reject them categorically because they will destroy the foundations of food security that are based on the three pillars of MSP, public procurement and public distribution system (PDS)," she said.
On the alleged chat leak of Goswami with BARC former CEO Partho Dasgupta, Gandhi said, "Very recently there have been very disturbing reports on how national security has been so thoroughly compromised."
She said, just a few days back, former Defence Minister A.K. Antony said that leaking of official secrets of military operations was "treason".
Questioning the government's silence on the issue, she said, "Yet the silence from the government's side on what has been revealed has been deafening. Those who give certificates of patriotism and nationalism to others now stand totally exposed."
Discussing the Covid vaccination, which started on January 16, the Congress leader said that vaccination of the courageous frontline health professionals and workers has begun and "we certainly hope that the process will continue and be completed to the fullest extent".
"The government has inflicted untold suffering on the people of our country by the manner in which it has managed the Covid-19 pandemic. It will take years for the scars to heal," she said.
Sonia Gandhi also raised the economic issue and said that the economic situation remains grim and large parts of the economy like MSME and the informal sector have been decimated with the government refusing to extend a lifeline.
"When public expenditure has to be carefully prioritised, it is very painful to find huge amounts of money being allocated and spent on initiatives that can only be described as 'personal vanity projects'," she said.
She also targeted the government over the weakening of the labour and environmental laws and moving ahead with selling off of carefully built-up public assets.
"Panic privatisation has gripped the government and this is something that the Congress party can never accept and support," she said.
Sonia Gandhi also said that the party has started preparing for the coming Assembly elections in some states.
"Meanwhile, the schedule and modalities for the organisational elections too has to get the CWC's approval," she said.