Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 5
Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Friday fervently appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal the contentious farm laws and show statesmanship, noting that Modi had the opportunity to come out strong like Sardar Patel.
“You have twice been the prime minister. Now is the time to be a statesmanlike Sardar Patel. Come, let’s all go to the Delhi Borders. I will come with you. Tell the farmers you brought the laws to benefit them but that you are ready to repeal if they feel otherwise. Don’t make it a prestige issue,” the former Punjab Congress chief said in a 15-minute speech during the ongoing debate in Rajya Sabha on the President’s address to Parliament.
Bajwa accused the Centre of pushing the farm laws through a “back door” in Rajya Sabha last September. He said the government threw to the winds all parliamentary conventions and constitutional rights of MPs to seek division.
“Today the farmers of Punjab, Haryana and UP have lost trust in you because you rushed the law through deceit. What was your hurry to enact the ordinances? You wanted to favour some corporates. That’s why you hastened the laws through the Parliament. The farmers don’t trust your intentions now,” he said.
The MP asked the government to delineate the technical difference between suspending the laws for one and a half year and repealing them.
“You say you’re ready to suspend the laws. How are the two things different? If you can suspend the laws for a year and a half why can’t you repeal them? Reenact the laws after comprehensive stakeholder consultation,” he suggested.
Condemning the Republic Day violence the Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab alleged conspiracy in the January 26 incidents and demanded a time-bound probe by a sitting SC judge into how a section of protesters was allowed to enter Delhi before the time earlier agreed upon with the police.
“Who allowed a section to deviate from pre-planned routes?” He asked.
Bajwa also recalled the execution of ninth Guru Teg Bahadur for the cause Kashmiri Brahmins.
Bajwa said the community had always made sacrifices for the country.
“You will teach us nationalism?” he asked, expressing anguish at a section of farmers being labelled as Khalistanis and anti-nationals.
The Congress leader questioned the Delhi police act of preventing opposition MPs from meeting the farmers at Ghazipur yesterday asking, “What kind of a democracy is this?”
Earlier he accused the Centre of attempts to crush the farmers’ agitation by barricading the protest sites and denying basic facilities to farmers.