'Maharashtra governor has time for Kangana Ranaut, but not farmers': Sharad Pawar at Mumbai rally

The NCP supremo also accused Narendra Modi of not inquiring about the condition of farmers agitating near Delhi borders

Press Trust of India January 25, 2021 18:23:53 IST
'Maharashtra governor has time for Kangana Ranaut, but not farmers': Sharad Pawar at Mumbai rally

NCP chief Sharad Pawar addresses a rally in support of the protesting farmers in Mumbai on Monday. Twitter/@NCPspeaks

Mumbai: The Centre may pass any law undermining the Constitution and on the back of its majority, but once the common man and farmers rise, they will not keep quiet until the new farm acts and the ruling party are destroyed, NCP president Sharad Pawar said on Monday.

The former Union agriculture minister also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not inquiring about the condition of farmers agitating near Delhi borders against the Centre's farm laws for two months now in cold weather.

Addressing a rally organised in Mumbai to express solidarity with the farmers agitating near Delhi, Pawar hit out at Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for heading to Goa at a time when peasants from the state were to submit a memorandum to the latter against the farm laws.

Pawar said Koshyari, who holds the additional charge of Goa, had time to meet Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut after the BMC last year demolished parts of her office but has no time for farmers.

Maharashtra Revenue Minister and state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat, All India Kisan Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah and others also addressed the rally held at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.

"You may pass any law undermining the Constitution, not keeping in with the reputation of Parliament and destroying the Parliamentary system on the back of your majority. But remember one thing, once the common man and farmers of the country rise, whether you withdraw the laws or not, they will not keep quiet until they destroy you and the laws", Pawar said during the rally.

"It has been 60 days since the farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan are protesting near Delhi. Did the country's PM enquire about (the farmers)?"

"It was mentioned that the farmers are from Punjab. Does Punjab mean Pakistan?" Pawar asked.

The NCP patriarch alleged that the farm laws were passed without detailed discussion in Parliament despite opposition parties demanding deliberations on the bills concerned.

The bills could have been discussed by a select committee, but that did not happen, he said.

"...people (from the opposition) opposed it. But the laws were declared passed without discussion. This is the insult of the Constitution", the Rajya Sabha MP said, hitting out at the BJP-led government at the Centre.

Pawar said the leaders of farmers who attended the rally in Mumbai were to submit a memorandum to Koshyari.

"We have not seen such a Governor in the history of Maharashtra. Lakhs of people have come here. They were to submit a memorandum to the Governor. But the Governor has gone to Goa. He has time to meet Kangana, but not my farmers, Pawar alleged.

The NCP leader said it was the moral responsibility of the Governor to meet farmers, but the latter did not discharge that duty.

The new agri laws, enacted in September last year, seek to encourage private trade, contract farming and remove the stock limit on foodgrains.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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