In a shocking incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party MLAs in the state Assembly tore up copies of the Centre's three new agriculture laws on Thursday.
The Delhi Assembly also passed a resolution against the farm laws, with Kejrwial saying he ‘cannot betray’ the farmers of the country.
— Rakesh Kumar (@AAPKA_RK) December 17, 2020
Addressing a special session of the Delhi Assembly, called to discuss the agitation, Kejriwal said, "What was the hurry to get farm laws passed in Parliament during the pandemic? It has happened for the first time that three laws were passed without voting in the Rajya Sabha... I hereby tear the three farm laws in this Assembly and appeal to the Centre not to become worse than Britishers.
He also alleged the laws have been made for 'electoral funding of the Bharatiya Janata Party and not the farmers'.
“I am pained that I have to do this. I did not intend to, but I cannot betray the farmers of my country who have been sleeping on the streets in the cold… when the temperature is just 2 degrees Celsius,” Kejriwal said, while tearing up the copies of the three laws.
“I am a citizen of this country first, a chief minister later. This assembly rejects the three laws and appeals to the central government to meet the demands of the farmers,” he said.
Kejriwal further said 20 protesting farmers have died so far and asked the Centre when it will 'wake up'.
He said the Centre should not be under the impression that the farmers camping at the protest sites will simply return to their homes, adding that in 1907, a farmers' protest continued for nine months till the British rulers repealed some laws.
“When asked about the benefit of the laws, every BJP leader says farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country… But where should farmers go to sell their crop at minimum support price (MSP)?” the CM asked.
What was the hurry to get Farm Laws passed in Parliament during pandemic? It has happened for 1st time that 3 laws were passed without voting in Rajya Sabha...I hereby tear 3 Farm laws in this assembly & appeal Centre not to become worst than Britishers: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal https://t.co/zvc2Dx1w3E pic.twitter.com/rUOACIQwp3
— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2020
He also claimed that due to the three new laws 'big capitalists will sell produce at a higher price', which will lead to price rise.
After the assembly passed the resolution by voice vote, AAP MLAs trooped into the well of the House, tore off copies of the laws and raised slogans demanding that the government repeal them.
Meanwhile, the BJP slammed the Delhi chief minister for his ‘double-speak’ as while he and his party were ostensibly extending support to the protesting ‘farmers’ from Punjab, The Delhi government quietly notified one of the three farm laws.
Member of Parliament @M_Lekhi exposes dual posture of @ArvindKejriwal ...says AK introduced 3 farm bills in #Delhi last month, November this year, & today tore away the same bill in Delhi assembly.@AAPDelhi @BJP4Delhi @adeshguptabjp @naveenjindalbjp @HarishKhuranna #kisanandolan pic.twitter.com/o1qChoWUnI
— Pranab Prakhar (@PMIPL_media) December 17, 2020
On November 23, 2020, when the Punjab farmers were threatening to hold the national capital as hostage, the Delhi government notified the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance 2020.
The Delhi government, according to the notification, had allowed trade of food grains and poultry outside the APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee) mandi premises. The same legislation promulgated by central government has been termed ‘anti farmer’ by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
With inputs from PTI, ANI