New Delhi: Amid the protest by farmers on the Delhi borders, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said in Lok Sabha that the farm laws are not religious scriptures that cannot be changed.
“It (farm laws) is not a religious scripture that changes cannot be made. If they (farmers) want it to be repealed, why can’t the government talk to them? It is our nation. We belong to this nation. Let us respect everybody here,” Abdullah said in his speech in Lok Sabha.
Citing the example of revoking the Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the NC chief said, “The government had not discussed the issue with us (stakeholder) nor did they discuss the farm laws with them (farmers).”
Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
He expressed disappointment over how politicians criticise senior leaders of the past.
“I feel bad when we see that we are pointing fingers at Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and other leaders. Tomorrow you may not be in power. Will we talk about this PM then? This is not Indian tradition. Respect those who have gone.”
He also expressed concern over COVID-19 deaths and said it was essential to distribute coronavirus vaccines in the country.
“It is essential to distribute these vaccines in India. Very few people are getting vaccines. Efforts should be made to vaccinate the maximum number of people so that people can be protected from this disease,” said Abdullah.
The NC Chief also said, “Our numbers are less than US, UK and others. Still, we reported many deaths. Our medical services are not that good that the cause of deaths can be ascertained in villages. Still, vaccines have been developed for which I congratulate those in Pune (Serum Institute of India).”
The NC leader also said that it was essential for the government to make up for the losses caused due to the pandemic and lockdown.
“Tourism sector, industries, shopkeepers in my state suffered and there is rampant poverty across the nation. Promises were made that 50,000 jobs would be provided but not even one job has given,” he added.
Nearly 62.6 lakh beneficiaries have received COVID-19 vaccination under the countrywide exercise, according to the health ministry, as on February 9, 2021, till 8 am.