Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram targeted the central government for the sudden announcement of the withdrawal of the three contentious farm laws. Referring to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders’ remarks hailing the move, Chidambaram alleged that the announcement was made without holding a Cabinet meeting.
“Did you notice that the PM made the announcement without holding a Cabinet meeting? It is only under the BJP that laws are made and unmade without prior Cabinet approval,” the former Union minister wrote on Twitter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a surprise announcement on Friday morning, said that the central government has decided to repeal the farm laws that had triggered months-long farmers’ protests. The prime minister lamented that the government was unable to convince a “section of farmers” about the benefits of the legislation.
While Opposition parties hailed the decision as a victory for farmers, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh lauded PM Modi for his “statesmanship” and “sensitivity” towards the welfare of farmers. BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda welcomed the decision saying the prime minister has shown that he has “immense care for our farmers”.
“Where were these worthy leaders and their wise advice in the last 15 months?” tweeted Chidambaram.
The hasty passage of the agricultural Bills had drawn criticism from the Opposition MPs who wanted the Bills to be sent to a Parliamentary Committee for scrutiny. After failing to end the deadlock by holding multiple rounds of talks with the farmers, the government finally relented and decide to repeal the laws.
Soon after the announcement, Chidambaram said that the decision was impelled by fear of elections rather than a change of policy or heart.
“What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections! PM’s announcement on the withdrawal of the three farm laws is not inspired by a change of policy or a change of heart. It is impelled by fear of elections!” he tweeted on Friday.