Kejriwal goes Rahul way; tears copy of farm laws

Arvind Kejriwal goes the Rahul Gandhi way; tears copy of farm laws in Delhi Assembly

The Delhi CM asked when the Centre would 'wake up' citing that 20 farmers have died in the protests already

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Credit: PTI Photo

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tore copies of the three controversial Central farm laws amid high drama in the Delhi Assembly, which passed a resolution rejecting the legislations for which the farmers are on a warpath with the BJP-led Centre.

Kejriwal said he cannot betray the farmers and questioned the hurry in which the laws were passed in Parliament during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The chief minister's action in the Assembly came amid farmers' protest at Delhi borders demanding the repeal of the laws amid both the protesters and the Centre not willing to blink. He and his supporters had earlier sat on a fast earlier expressing solidarity with the protesting farmers.

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In 2013, in an embarrassment to his own government, Rahul Gandhi displeased with a controversial ordinance brought forward by the UPA to negate a Supreme Court verdict on convicted lawmakers termed it as "complete nonsense" and said that it should be torn up and thrown away. He had torn a copy of the ordinance back then.

After the Assembly passed the resolution by voice vote, AAP MLAs trooped into the well of the House and tore copies of the laws, raising slogans demanding its repeal.

The session was called amid the AAP levelling allegations of misappropriation of around Rs 2,500 crore by the BJP-ruled municipal corporations. Delhi minister Kailash Gahlot moved a resolution demanding the repeal of the three laws.

The discussion on the resolution started and later AAP MLA Mahendra Goyal first tore a copy of the farm laws during his speech in the Assembly, saying he refused to accept these "black laws", which are against farmers.

Addressing the Assembly, Kejriwal said it has happened for the first time that three laws were passed without voting in Rajya Sabha.

“I am pained that I have to do this. I did not intend to, but I cannot betray the farmers of my country who have been sleeping on the streets in the cold... when the temperature is just 2 degrees Celsius,” Kejriwal said while tearing up the copies of the three laws.

He said he is a citizen of this country first, a chief minister later. This Assembly rejects the three laws and appeals to the Central government to meet the demands of the farmers, he said.

"Twenty protesting farmers have died so far. When will the Centre wake up? The Centre should not be under the impression that the farmers camping at the protest sites will simply return to their homes. In 1907, a farmers' protest continued for nine months till the British rulers repealed some laws," Kejriwal said.

“When asked about the benefit of the laws, every BJP leader says farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country… But where should farmers go to sell their crop at minimum support price (MSP)?” the CM asked.