New Delhi, Dec 30 (PTI) The government should make a fresh beginning in the new year by shedding its "stubbornness" and accepting the demands of the farmers protesting against the new agri laws, the Congress said on Wednesday. Addressing a joint press conference, Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja and Uttarakhand Congress chief Pritam Singh said the government should extend an olive branch to the farmers and agree to their demands, including repealing the laws.
"The Centre is just tying farmers in knots. They have said we will not bend. So how will solutions be found? The new year is coming, we demand and urge the government to shed its arrogance and listen to the common people, farmers, labourers in a democracy," Selja said.
The country's economy depends on the agricultural sector, she said and alleged that the economy has collapsed. "So is this arrogance justified?" Selja asked.
"It is a very important day. We urge the Centre to heed to the farmers and agree to their demands. Repeal the farm laws and then make a fresh start. Give a new year gift to farmers," Selja told reporters as the government met protesting farmer unions for talks.
She said the government has once again invited farmers for talks and it should agree to their demands at the earliest.
"We hope, urge and insist that the government sheds its stubbornness, listen to the farmers' and agree. Repeal the three black laws first and then make a fresh start in the new year. Give the nation a gift, give the farmer, farm worker a new year gift," the Congress leader said.
She said that 2020 has not been a good year, either way, whether it is about the economy, whether it is about COVID-19, or it is about farmers and labourers.
"This government has a chance to make a new beginning. Quit your abstinence and move forward. You are pretending to extend your hand, move forward in reality and embrace the farmers and give a new gift to this country," Selja said.
Farmer are agitated and pained, and people are standing with them, she said.
The Haryana Congress chief said since Haryana is an agriculture dominated state, the chief minister should have gone to the prime minister and flagged the farmers' issue Pritam Singh urged the government to accept the farmers' demands.
"This cannot be a coincidence. It seems the farm laws were framed in consultation with corporates, as they started building silos for storing foodgrains in states of Punjab and Haryana, even before the laws were brought," he alleged.
The Congress has been seeking the repeal of the three farm laws, alleging that they will ruin farming and the farmers. The Congress is also supporting the farmers agitation against the farm laws.
Selja alleged that the BJP governments at the Centre and Haryana have lost faith of the public.
She alleged that the government embraces capitalists, but does not listen to the farmers and the poor. With these laws, the government wants to benefit some of its select "crony friends".