Farmers' stir: Team of 15 Opposition MPs stopped from meeting protesters at Ghazipur border

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal who coordinated the visit said she was shocked to see the treatment being meted out to the farmers

FP Staff February 04, 2021 18:22:20 IST
Farmers' stir: Team of 15 Opposition MPs stopped from meeting protesters at Ghazipur border

Opposition MPs at Ghazipur border. Image credits: Twitter @HarsimratBadal_

Fifteen MPs from 10 Opposition parties were stopped by the police from reaching the farmers' protest site on Thursday when they visited the Ghazipur border of Delhi, leaders said.

Security has been tightened at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, one of the key protest sites where thousands of farmers are camping since November demanding from the Central Government to repeal three agri-marketing laws enacted last September.

According to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal who coordinated the visit, the leaders were not allowed to cross the barricades and reach the protest site.

"See the high handedness of the BJP-led GOI even against the MPs! We were forced to alight three kilometres from the peaceful protest site. But we are undeterred. We are determined to see the conditions first hand and force the govt into action," Harsimrat said in a tweet.

In another tweet, she said: "Even MPs are not being allowed to meet peacefully protesting farmers. This is truly a black day for democracy!"

The SAD leader, a former Union minister who resigned in protest against the three farm laws, also said she was shocked to see the treatment being meted out to the farmers.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Harsimrat said, “We are here so that we can discuss this issue in the Parliament. The Speaker is not letting us raise the issue. Now all the parties will give details of what is happening here."

Besides Badal, Supriya Sule from the NCP, Kanimozhi and Tiruchi Siva from the DMK, Saugata Roy from the TMC were part of the delegation. Members of the National Conference, RSP, and the IUML were also part of it.

Sule also said the MPs were stopped from meeting the farmers.

"The entire road has been closed from all sites like a fort. It is as if the Central Government has decided to deny food, water and other necessities to agitating farmers. I condemn the Union government for this," she said in another tweet.

Earlier in the day, referring to videos and photos of workers removing the nails near the Ghazipur border on social media, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Deepak Yadav said the nails are just being "repositioned" and asserted that the security arrangements at the border will remain the same.

During a discussion in the Parliament on Wednesday, several Opposition parties asked the Central Government to withdraw the three contentious farm laws without making it a prestige issue and not to treat the agitating farmers as "enemies".

The protesting farmers have expressed the apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.

Eleven rounds of formal talks between the Centre and the protesting farmer unions have failed to break the deadlock. While unions have stuck to their main demand of repeal of the laws and legal guarantee of MSP, the government has offered some concessions including keeping these laws on hold for 1-1.5 years.

The Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of the laws for two months and set up a panel to look into the matter.

With inputs from PTI

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