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NC decries debarring Opposition MPs from meeting protesting Farmers

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MP Masoodi, others forced to return back from national capital suburbs

New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday criticized the government for disallowing the delegation of MPs of opposition parties from meeting the protesting farmers at Gazipur, terming the measure undemocratic and unparliamentary.

Party’s Member of Parliament from Anantnag Hassnain Masoodi was also a part of the group of 15 MPs from ten opposition parties who visited Ghazipur on Thursday morning but were not allowed to meet the protesting farmers. The MPs said that the issue would be brought to the notice of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

“Despite repeated requests we were not allowed to meet the protesting farmers. We were forced to return back from the border entry point. The delegation of which I also was a part, wanted to express solidarity with the protesting farmers. It was rather more imperative for me to be there on behalf of my party which for the breadth of its ambitious and radical political struggle has always stood for the socio-political emancipation and empowerment of farmers and other working classes. The very symbol of plough on our party flag is also emblematic of our party’s egalitarian vision. It was our state that had emerged as a leader in agricultural reforms in the sub-continent, we still consider that the road to development runs through empowering farmers and worker classes,” he said.

“Far from targeting farmers as a channel for poverty reduction, the ruling BJP is adamant on a mission to leave the farmers of the country to the mercy of market forces,” Masoodi said. “We have been impressing upon the government to convene a special parliament session on the issue but so far his government has given us cold shoulders. Today we were debarred from meeting them. Nothing substantial is being done by the government to remove the deadlock. Disallowing us to have an audience with the protesting farmers is also an indictment of the obstinate disposition of the government,” he added.

Given the economic condition of our farmers in the country, he said the MSP and state procurement of the crops should be made a legal right, he said. He further said the contentious farm laws should be repealed and that the government should implement the Swaminathan panel report and peg MSP to farmer’s satisfaction. “There are other issues which demand immediate attention of the government, cutting diesel prices for agriculture use, enhancing crop insurance and subsidizing pesticides, fertilizers and farm equipment for marginal farmers and orchardists are among them. Country’s agriculture sector cannot wait, any misstep on the agriculture front will have far reaching consequences on the country’s food security,” he said.

Alluding to the BJPs flawed blueprint on Jammu and Kashmir, he said the manner in which all parliamentary norms and procedures were thrown to winds by ruling BJP for bulldozing J&K was yet another example of the ruling party’s aversion for debating and discussion. “The process of evading discussion and scrutiny in parliament has gained prominence over the past seven years by the incumbent government. We have time and again asked the government to allow a time slot for discussions on issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir. Disallowing discussions on Kashmir in parliament speaks volumes about the undemocratic and repressive approach. We have again urged the honorable Speaker to allow a short discussion on J&K,” he added.

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