New Delhi: Farmers on Thursday held their mock Parliament at Jantar Mantar, a km away from Parliament House, to mark eight months of their protests against farm laws that they say will devastate lives.
About 200 of them were escorted in buses by Delhi Police with armed men, double their strength, encircling them at Jantar Mantar.
This was as per the understanding reached with Samyukt Kisan Morcha that no farmer will roam around Parliament House or create any trouble.
Those who addressed the mock Parliament included Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait, Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav and farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka, among others, while the farmers shouted slogans against the Modi government. The Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, supported the farmers by holding a demonstration in the Parliament House complex. The police barricaded the mock protest site, preventing the political leaders from joining the protests.
Tikait said the daily protests at Jantar Mantar will continue every day until the end of the monsoon session, a grim reminder to the Modi government of the ground reality. Before the mock Parliament began, all farmers squatted on the ground for a "langar."
Twenty MPs from Kerala visited site and expressed solidarity with the farmers. The Kisan Ekta Morcha tweeted that "as planned prior, no politician was allowed to share the stage, so the MPs obliged and joined as audience."
MAWALI: The Congress reacted sharply to new minister of MEA Meenakshi Lekhi abusing the agitating farmers, running them down as "Mawali." It is a derogatory word in vogue in Mumbai which means a hoodlum or ruffian.
Lekhi claimed that the farmers' agitation had a political agenda this was exposed on January 26 when some of the farmers went on a violent spree in the national capital and even mounted their flag on the Red Fort.