Sixteen opposition parties will be boycotting the President’s address in the Parliament on Friday, due to the forcible passing of the Farm Laws in the house in the absence of the opposition.
“The main issue for the boycott are the farm laws. Sixteen parties have decided to jointly boycott the President Ram Nath Kovind’s address tomorrow in the Parliament,” Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday.
“Farmers in India have been collectively fighting against the three farm laws, imposed by the BJP government. These laws threaten the future of Indian agriculture which sustains over 60% of the country’s population and the livelihood of crores of farmers, sharecroppers and farm labour,” the joint statement read.
The statement also mentioned that efforts are made to discredit the farmers’ movement through a government-sponsored disinformation campaign. The opposition parties condemned the acts of violence in the national capital on Republic day and have expressed sadness over the Delhi Police personnel getting injured while trying to handle the situation.
However, the opposition parties are demanding a fair and impartial investigation into the incident. They are alleging that the central government had a role to play in the violence. “We believe that an impartial investigation will reveal the nefarious role of the central government in orchestrating these events. The three Farm Laws are an assault on the rights of the States and violate the federal spirit of the Constitution,” the statement said.
The opposition has also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government for remaining arrogant and undemocratic. “The Prime Minister and the BJP Government remain arrogant, adamant and undemocratic in their response. Shocked by this insensitivity of the government, the following opposition political parties, reaffirming the collective demand for the repeal of the anti-farmer laws and in solidarity with the Indian farmers, have decided to boycott the President’s address to both the Houses of Parliament on Friday, January 29, 2021,” the statement said.
The opposition’s statement also questions the validity of the three farm law, “The very constitutional validity of these laws remains in question. The farm bills were formed without consulting with the State governments or the farmers’ unions and lack national consensus. The three laws were passed by stifling the opposition.”
Reportedly, the 16 opposition parties boycotting the President’s address are the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI, RSP, Kerala Congress, Kerala Congress (M), Indian Union Muslim League, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Trinamool Congress (TMC), All India United Democratic Front, DMK, Jammu Kashmir National Conference, Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The budget session in the Parliament will begin on January 29. The Finance Minister will present the Union Budget on February 1. Meanwhile, the farmers’ leaders informed on Wednesday that they are postponing the February 1 march to the Parliament given the Republic Day violence.