A protest by Congress party in Manipur on Friday demanded the scrapping of the three farm bills passed by the Parliament.
Many leaders of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) including former chief minister O Ibobi Singh, CWC member Gaikhangam and MPCC president M Okendro took part in the sit-in-protest staged at Congress Bhavan in imphal.
The protest was staged under the aegis of the Kisan Congress of the MPCC as part of AICC’s nationwide observance of ‘Kishan Mazdoor Bachao Divas’ (Safe farmers and farm labourers).
Placards such as “Save farmers, save economy”, “Don’t promote big corporates at the cost of farmers”, “Don’t go unilateral, save democracy”, “Don’t suppress farmers”, etc. were displayed at the protest site.
Taking part in the protest, former chief minister O Ibobi Singh termed the three farm bills as “anti-farmers” and demanded immediate scrapping of the bills. He alleged that the bills were not passed in the interest of the farmers. THe also said the bills were passed by the Parliament without any discussion. He added that the bills were passed by force.
The former three time chief minister of the state then insisted that even if the bills were passed and enacted, it should be withdrawn. “We are not demanding scrapping of the bills not as an opposition but in the interest of the farmers. The bills hurt farmers’ interest in many ways,” he said. “Not only the Congress but also partners of ruling BJP in the NDA have also registered their strong protest against the bills”, he claimed. “Various political parties including allies of the BJP-led NDA also extended their support to the observance of Kishan Mazdoor Bachao Divas which was observed nationwide coinciding with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation”, Ibobi further said.
The sit-in-protest was staged after the party observed the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at the bhavan.
The three farm sector bills which were recently passed by the Parliament are Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Bill 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.