“Shocked To See Treatment…”: Opposition MPs Visit Farmers’ Protest Site

Farmers’ Protest: The opposition MPs went to the Delhi-UP border in Ghazipur in a bus.

New Delhi: 15 opposition MPs representing ten political parties, who reached the Delhi-Uttar border in Ghazipur this morning to meet farmers protesting the centre’s farm laws, were stopped by the police, one of the MPs said.

The MPs, who went to the Delhi border in a bus, included Harsimrat Kaur Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal, Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Kanimozhi of the DMK and Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress.

“Saw first hand the conditions created at Ghazipur border. Shocked to see the treatment being meted out to the annadaata. Farmers are barricaded behind fortress like concrete barriers and barbed wire fencing. Even ambulances and fire brigades cannot enter the protest site,” Ms Badal tweeted.

At the Ghazipur border protest site as well as at the capital’s border points with Haryana, the police have set up rows of barricades, barbed wire fences and spikes on the roads and dug up trenches to prevent the protesting farmers from forcing their way in after the Republic Day violence last week.

Several borders continued to remain closed for traffic movement this morning as well.

“We are here so that we can discuss this issue (farmers’ protest) in parliament. The Speaker is not letting us raise the issue. Now, all the parties will give details of what is happening here,” Ms Badal told news agency ANI.

During a discussion in parliament yesterday, several opposition parties asked the government to withdraw the contentious farm laws even as they sought strong action against those behind the January 26 violence in Delhi.

Opposition parties, which tried to block the farm bills in parliament last year, had requested President Ram Nath Kovind not to sign on the bills. The bills, they had said, were passed in the Rajya Sabha in an undemocratic manner. The President, however, had given his assent to all three bills.

Farmers fear the new laws will deprive them of guaranteed minimum earnings and leave them open to exploitation by big business. Eleven rounds of talks have been held between the farmers and the government but there been no breakthrough. The farmers have turned down the centre’s last offer to put the laws on hold for 18 months while a special committee conducts negotiations.

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