Farm law protests: AAP to boycott President's address to joint sitting of parliament
New Delhi, Jan 28: A day before the start of the Budget Session of Parliament, sixteen Opposition parties, including the Congress, on Thursday said they have decided to boycott the president's address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament in solidarity with the farmers protesting against the farm laws.
President Ram Nath Kovind will address the joint sitting on Friday.
"The three farm laws are an assault on the rights of the states and violate the federal spirit of the Constitution," the statement said. "If not repealed, these laws will effectively dismantle the edifice of National Food Security that rests upon - MSP [minimum support price], government procurement and Public Distribution System."
The AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh on Thursday said his party will boycott the president''s address to the joint sitting of both houses over the ongoing farmers protest.
Singh said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demands complete roll back of three agri laws. He alleged the "anti-farmer" legislations were aimed at benefiting a few industrialists.
"The Aam Aadmi Party is opposing these anti-farmer laws from the very first day and our protest will continue. This is why it has decided to boycott the President''s address tomorrow at Parliament.
"AAP Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann and all the three Rajya Sabha MPs will not attend the President''s address tomorrow," he said.
While Bhagwant Mann is a member of the Lok Sabha, Sanjay Singh, N D Gupta and Sushil Gupta are the AAP''s Rajya Sabha MPs.
Apart from the AAP, 16 opposition parties have also decided to boycott President Ram Nath Kovind''s address on Friday in solidarity with the farmers protesting the new farm laws.
The 16 parties are the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, National Conference, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI, Indian Union Muslim League, RSP, Peoples Democratic Party, MDMK, Kerala Congress (M) and the All India United Democratic Front.
These opposition parties have demanded an independent probe into the Centre''s role in the violence that shook the national capital during the farmers'''' tractor parade on Republic Day.
They also demanded the repeal of the three farm laws and criticised the central government for remaining unresponsive to the demands of lakhs of farmers protesting against the agri laws.