‘To give details in Parliament’: Harsimrat Badal explains Ghazipur border visit
Former Union minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who on Thursday arrived at the Ghazipur border to meet the farmers protesting against the three agricultural laws, said that the Lok Sabha Speaker was not allowing the Opposition parties to raise the issue. The purpose of the visit, she added, was to give him details of ‘what is happening here.’
“We are here so that we can discuss this issue in Parliament. Speaker is not letting us raise the issue. Now all the parties will give details of what is happening here,” Badal told news agency ANI at the Ghazipur border. More than a dozen MPs from ten political parties, as tweeted by Badal earlier in the day, are at the border to meet the protesters.
“Leaving with 15 MPs from 10 political parties to Ghazipur border in a bus to see the ground situation,” she tweeted, announcing the visit.
Besides Badal, others in the delegation of Opposition MPs included Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), DMK’s Kanimozhi and Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) Saugata Roy etc. The MPs, however, were stopped by the police from meeting the farmers.
Last September, when the three laws were passed, Badal had resigned from her portfolio in prime minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, in protest against the passage of the laws. Days later, the SAD announced its exit from the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, which is led by PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The SAD was the BJP’s oldest ally, with ties dating back to the 1990s. Badal was her party’s only representative in the central government.
While the protests have been largely ‘apolitical,’ several political leaders have visited the Ghazipur border in recent days. Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Jayant Chaudhary, Delhi deputy chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia and a Shiv Sena delegation, led by Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, have visited the protest site in the last week. Protest here is being led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.
Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi have been the epicentre of the anti-farm law protests.