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Opposition Parties Seek Meeting with Prez, Urge Him not to Sign Farm Bills

Non-NDA parties have written a memorandum to Ram Nath Kovind over the manner in which the government "pushed through its agenda".
President Ram Nath Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind.Image Courtesy: President of India/Twitter

New Delhi: A day after two contentious farm Bills were passed by Rajya Sabha amid a bedlam, a number of non-National Democratic Alliance parties wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind over the manner in which the government "pushed through its agenda" and urged him not to grant his assent to the proposed legislations.

According to sources, leaders of various political parties, including the Congress, the Left parties, Nationalist Congress Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam , Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal have in a memorandum to the President sought his intervention in the matter and asked him not to sign the Bills.

The Bills will become a law only after the President grants his assent to them.

The two key farm Bills, dubbed by the government as the biggest reform in agriculture, were passed by Rajya Sabha on Sunday with voice vote amid “unruly” scenes by protesting Opposition MPs.

Some protesting Opposition members charged towards the podium of Deputy Chairman Harivansh, waving the rule book at him and allegedly tore official papers. He was reportedly heckled over their demand for a division of vote on their motion to refer the legislation to a select committee.

Sources said the Opposition parties have described the manner in which the Bills were passed in Rajya Sabha on Sunday as "murder of democracy" by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. They have also sought time from the President for a meeting, likely on Tuesday.

The Shiromani Akali Dal leadership, and NDA ally, will meet the President separately on Monday to urge him not to sign on the Bills.

Sources said the memorandum of opposition leaders has been sent to the President. Congress MP and noted lawyer Abhishek Singhvi is learnt to have framed the memorandum.

The Opposition leaders wish to present their case in urging the President not to grant his assent to the Bill after both the Houses of Parliament passed the two Bills.

They believe that the Bills are against the interest of farmers and seek to enslave farming at the hands of corporates. These will prove to be a "death knell" for farming, the Opposition leaders claim.

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