New Delhi: AAP’s Punjab MP Bhagwant Mann claimed on Friday that his party legislators tried to reach out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a function in Parliament but he did not listen to them.
Prime Minister Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union ministers and parliamentarians on Friday paid floral tributes to Madan Mohan Malaviya and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Central Hall of Parliament on their birth anniversary.
Prime Minister Modi also released a book, “Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A Commemorative Volume”, to mark the occasion.
Soon after the book release, as the prime minister was about to leave the venue, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members Sanjay Singh and Mann raised slogans, demanding the repeal of the Centre’s contentious farm laws.
Modi was speaking with the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and the leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, at that moment.
Addressing a press conference, Mann said AAP MPs raised slogans in front of Prime Minister Modi, demanding immediate rollback of the anti-farmer laws but he did not listen to them.
“We wanted to reach out to the Prime Minister and tell him about the demands of farmers. AAP MP Shri Sanjay Singh and I raised slogans, demanding MSP law, the rollback of these black laws and others. We were also carrying posters on these demands made by farmers,” Mann said.
“We wanted to apprise the BJP-led central government of the demands of farmers. We wanted to tell the Union government that they must listen to the demands of these farmers who are sitting at the borders of Delhi for the past several days. When the Aam Aadmi Party MPs started raising slogans, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi left the venue before finishing his scheduled programme,” Mann said.
Mann further claimed that there is a nexus between the Congress and the BJP as the opposition party is protesting only to show off. That’s why Congress leaders present in the Central Hall did not raise their issues, he claimed.
“We always say that there is a setting between the Congress and the BJP. Today when we were raising our demands in front of the prime minister, then the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Gulam Nabi Azad, and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury were also present but they did not utter a word,” he said.
“If the Congress was concerned about farmers, then they would have joined us today. The Congress is only pretending to be farmer-friendly, he said.
The three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
However, protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the minimum support price (MSP) and do away with mandis that ensure income, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
They have repeatedly rejected a government offer to amend the farm laws and give a “written assurance” on continuing the MSP system and stuck to their demand for the repeal of the legislations.