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Karnataka Congress leaders protest against farm laws, court arrest

The state Congress leaders also addressed a massive rally at Freedom Park

dk shivakumar karnataka cong [File] D.K. Shivakumar | Twitter handle of Karnataka Congress

KPCC chief D.K. Shivakumar, leader of the opposition Siddaramaiah and former deputy chief minister G. Parameshwara, who were leading a protest rally to oppose the new farm legislations, were taken into custody by the police in Bengaluru on Wednesday, while they were on their way to Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum to Governor Vajubhai Vala. 

A delegation of Congress leaders, including Eshwar Khandre and Ramalinga Reddy, who managed to reach Raj Bhavan were also detained by the police, who have barricaded all the roads leading to Raj Bhavan.

Earlier, the state Congress leaders addressed a massive rally at Freedom Park, to mark the "Raitha Adhikara Diwas" (farmers' rights day). Traffic in the city came to a standstill after hundreds of Congress party workers from across the state arrived in the state capital to take part in the protest.  

Addressing the rally, Siddaramaiah slammed the Centre for its "anti-farmer" policies, saying, "The Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of the three farm laws because it is unconstitutional and anti-farmer. It is a loss of face for the Modi government. But the government is so shameless that it tried to suppress the protests and has formed a partisan committee for negotiation with the farmers instead of repealing the laws." 

"The farmers are opposed to the committee as they feel the members are agents of the government.Why should the government not appoint experts who are neutral on the issue. The farmers' biggest fear is that the new laws will end the MSP regime as the new law has not guaranteed the MSP,"  alleged Siddaramaiah, who warned the BJP governments in the state and at the Centre that the farmers were capable of throwing out the government if they wanted to.

KPCC chief Shivakumar urged the party workers to stage protests at every district and taluk till the next assembly elections in 2023. "The Congress believes that every voice of dissent should be heard. Today, we are protesting at Freedom Park, which was sanctioned by our government. We wanted it to be close to the Vidhana Soudha (secretariat) as we wanted the government to hear the common man's voice. This year will be a year of protests and we will stand by the farmers," said Shivakumar. 

Karnataka BJP took to Twitter to slam the Congress saying the Congress Party was betraying the farmers by opposing the farm laws. "The Modi government passed the farm laws to double the income of farmers. It is an established fact that the farmer profits when he gets direct access to the market for his produces. But only the Congress is opposing the law and supporting the middlemen. The Congress's "Raj Bhavan chalo" rally is only a gimmick," said the BJP.

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