Sixteen Opposition Parties to Boycott the President's Address in Parliament
By: Sashwata Saha
Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday announced that 16 opposition parties will be boycotting the President’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session.
“We are issuing a statement from 16 political parties that we are boycotting the President’s address that will be delivered at Parliament tomorrow. The major reason behind this decision is that the Bills (Farm Laws) were passed forcibly in House, without Opposition,” said Azad.
Other than Congress, the 15 other parties are the Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, the Indian Union Muslim League, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Kerala Congress and the All India United Democratic Front.
Earlier in the day, continuing his attack on the Centre over the three contentious farm laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the country would have been on fire all farmers understood the finer print of the laws.
Addressing an event in Kerala, Rahul said: “The truth is that most farmers do not understand the details of the Bill (the three Farm Laws), because if they did, there would be an agitation all across the country. The country would be on fire.”
The former Congress president, who was at Kalpetta in his parliamentary constituency Wayanad in Kerala, has in past repeatedly appealed the central government to roll back the three farm laws.
The three laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act — were passed by the Lok Sabha on September 17, 2020, and the Rajya Sabha on September 20, 2020. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on 27 September 2020.
Since November, farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting these laws on the borders of Delhi. Two days ago, on Republic Day, the so-far peaceful protests turned violent and resulted in the death of a protestor.
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