‘What was the hurry?’: Kejriwal tears farm law copies in Delhi Assembly
New Delhi, Dec 17: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tore up copies of the three farm laws that have been at the centre of the protests by farmers for more than 20 days, saying he cannot betray the country's farmers.
Addressing the Delhi Assembly, the chief minister also alleged that the laws "have been made for electoral funding of the BJP 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 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 farmers," he said.
''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,'' Kejriwal said.
The Delhi chief minister also said, "Every farmer has become Bhagat Singh. Govt is saying that they are reaching out to farmers & trying to explain the benefits of Farm Bills. UP CM told farmers that they'll benefit from these bills as their land won't be taken away. Is it a benefit?."
Speaking to the media later, he said the Delhi Assembly has rejected the three laws and has appealed to the Centre to take them back.
''Delhi Assembly today rejected all 3 Farm laws & have appealed Central govt that it should take back these black laws. More than 20 farmers have died during 20 days of protest. On average, one farmer is getting martyred daily in this movement,'' Delhi Chief Minister said.
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simply return to their homes, adding that in 1907, a farmers' protest continued for nine months till the British rulers repealed some laws.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. 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. Speaker Ram Niwas Goel adjourned the House proceedings till 5:15 pm.
When the House reconvened, the AAP MLAs again gathered in its well, following which proceedings were adjourned till 11 am on Friday. Later, AAP legislators also burnt copies of the farm laws on the assembly premises.
Delhi minister Kailash Gahlot had tabled a resolution in the legislative assembly to repeal the Centre's three new farm laws.
The AAP government has convened a one-day special session of the Delhi assembly to discuss the alleged misappropriation of nearly Rs 2,500 crore in the municipal corporations. AAP MLA Mahendra Goyal tore a copy of the farm laws during his speech in the assembly.
"I refuse to accept these black laws which are against farmers," he said. Thousands of farmers have been agitating against the agri-marketing laws at Delhi borders since the last 20 days demanding that the laws be repealed.
Many AAP leaders, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, had joined the farmers' day-long fast on Monday in protest against the farm laws.