On Thursday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tore up copies of the farm bills during a Special Assembly session and urged the centre “not to become worse than Britishers”. Mr Kejriwal also asked the centre “what was the hurry to get the farm laws passed during pandemic”.
“I hereby tear (up the) three farm laws in this Assembly and appeal to the centre not to become wors(e) than (the) Britishers. What was the hurry to get farm laws passed in parliament during (the coronavirus) pandemic?” Mr Kejriwal asked during a session called to discuss the farmers’ protest.
“Every farmer has become Bhagat Singh… government is saying they are reaching out to farmers and trying to explain benefits of the farm bills… The UP Chief Minister told farmers they will benefit as their land won’t be taken away. Is that a benefit?” the Chief Minister added.
The AAP has been a vocal supporter of the farmers, and even provided basic infrastructure – drinking water, medical care and sanitation – to thousands who fought past tear gassing and lathi charges, and are now braving the cold, to camp on Delhi borders for nearly three weeks now.
Last week Mr Kejriwal visited farmers at Singhu (on the Delhi-Haryana border) and said: “We support all the demands of the farmers.” He also said the bills “decriminalise profiteering and hoarding” and hit out at critics who allege involvement of separatist elements.
“Some BJP leaders are saying farmers are anti-national. Many ex-servicemen… singers, celebrities, doctors, traders are supporting them… are all these also anti-nationals?” he asked Monday.
Mr Kejriwal also took on the centre on reports that over 20 protesters, including the 65-year-old priest of a Haryana gurudwara – have died since the agitation began nearly three weeks ago.
“…how many sacrifices farmers will have to make to get their voices heard,” he asked.
Earlier MLAs from Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party – Mahendra Goyal and Somnath Bharti – also tore up copies as bills to counter those passed by the centre in September were tabled.