New Delhi, January 28 : Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday said that 16 opposition political parties will be boycotting President Ram Nath Kovind's address that will be delivered on Friday, the first day of the budget session of Parliament. The parties have demanded an impartial investigation into incidents of violence in Delhi during tractor rally and the Central government's role in the events.
"We are issuing a statement from 16 political parties that we are boycotting President's Address that is scheduled to be delivered at Parliament tomorrow. The major reason behind this decision is that the Farm Laws were passed forcibly in House, without Opposition," Azad told ANI here. The budget session of Parliament will begin on January 29 with an address by President Ram Nath Kovind. The Union Budget will be presented on February 1.
Leaders of the opposition parties have issued a joint statement demanding an impartial investigation into incidents of violence in Delhi during tractor rally and Centres role in the events.
"India's farmers have been collectively fighting against the three farm laws arbitrarily imposed by the BJP Government that threaten the future of Indian agriculture which sustains over 60 per cent of India's population and the livelihood of crores of farmers, sharecroppers and farm labour. Lakhs of farmers have been agitating at the gates of the national capital of Delhi braving biting cold and heavy rain for the last 64 days for their rights and justice. Over 155 farmers have lost their lives. The government remains unmoved and has responded with water cannons, tear gas and lathi charges," the statement reads.
"Every effort has been made to discredit a legitimate mass movement through a government-sponsored disinformation campaign. The protest and the agitation have been largely peaceful. Unfortunately, there were few acts of violence on January 26 , 2021, in the National Capital of Delhi which was condemned universally and unequivocally. We also express our sadness over the injuries sustained by Delhi Police personnel while handling the difficult situation. But, we believe that an impartial investigation will reveal the Central Government's nefarious role in orchestrating those events," the statement added.
The statement said that the three farm Laws, are an assault on the rights of the States and violate the federal spirit of the Constitution.
"If not repealed, these Laws will effectively dismantle the National Food Security that rests upon - MSP government procurement and Public Distribution System ( PDS ). The farm bills were brought without any consultations with States and Farmer Unions and lacked national consensus, Parliamentary scrutiny was bypassed and the Laws were pushed through muzzling the Opposition, in brazen violation of Parliamentary rules, Practices and conventions. The very constitutional validity of these Laws remains in question.
The Prime Minister and the BJP Government remain arrogant, adamant and undemocratic in their response. Shocked by this insensitivity of the government, we reaffirm 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," the statement added.