Sharad Pawar slams PM, says 'he has time for Kolkata, but not for farmers'
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Sunday slated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for turning a blind eye to the farmers' stir as he is campaigning in poll-bound West Bengal. He also slammed the PM's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for spreading communal hatred in the country.
"Centre's responsibility is to establish brotherhood, but BJP spreading communal poison in country. Farmers have been protesting for 100 days, PM has time to go to Kolkata, rally against West Bengal govt, but no time to visit farmers in Delhi," Pawar said in Ranchi.
The farmers' agitation entered its 100th day on Saturday as thousands continue to raise their voices against the Centre's contentious farm laws. The PM is yet to meet the agitating farmers and protestors and opposition party leaders have been vocal about it.
The Prime Minister had addressed public gatherings in poll-bound states like Assam and Tamil Nadu.
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He addressed a massive gathering on Sunday at Kolkata's Brigade parade ground ahead of the state's Assembly elections, where the BJP will go up against the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), who Pawar's NCP has declared its support for in the elections.
Several rounds of talks between the farmers' representatives and the Centre's representatives have ended in a stalemate. Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated on Sunday that the Centre was willing the amend the farm laws.
The dissenters, however, have made it clear that they would not stop the agitation until the three laws were rolled back.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said, on the completion of 100 days of the protest, that the agitation would not stop until all the three laws were withdrawn.
He also flagged off a tractor rally that would move across the districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and will reach the farmers' protest site in Ghazipur on March 27.
Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been agitating at several border points of Delhi, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three new farm laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.
The protestors have been demanding the withdrawal of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.