Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday met a delegation of farmers from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat. Interacting with the media after the meeting, Tomar claimed that the delegation had submitted to him a letter supporting the three farm laws. He also lashed out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who earlier in the day met President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention to repeal the three laws.
“Farmers from Baghpat have given me a letter in support of Centre’s farm laws. They’ve told me the government shouldn’t buckle under any pressure to make amendments to farm bills,” news agency ANI quoted Tomar as saying after he met a delegation of 60 farmers belonging to the Kisaan Mazdoor Sangh.
As protests against the farm laws have gathered steam, Tomar has, over the past few days, met several delegations of “farm leaders,” who, he claims, are supportive of the reforms. “Whatever Rahul Gandhi says, even Congress doesn’t take it seriously. Today when he went to register his protest with President with signatures, these farmers told me that no one from Congress came to get their signature,” Tomar was further quoted as saying.
The agriculture minister was referring to a memorandum submitted by Gandhi to the President, which, the Congress claims, has two crore signatures against the farm laws. “If Rahul Gandhi was so worried, then he could have done something for farmers. Congress’ character has always been anti-farmer,” Tomar added.
Gandhi had met Kovind along with fellow Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. Several other Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were detained by the Delhi Police as they tried to march towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan. This, the police said, was done as only Gandhi, Azad and Chowdhury had permission to meet Kovind.
The anti-farm law protests, taking place at several borders of Delhi, entered day 29 on Thursday.
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