New Delhi: In a written reply to the parliament today, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar said that the government has “no record” of any farmers’ death during the protests that took place for a year against the contentious farm laws.
In a written reply to a question raised in the Parliament questioning on the data of deaths at protest sites near Delhi borders, and if the government is planning to give financial relief to the affected families, Mr Tomar told Lok Sabha, “(The) Ministry of Agriculture has no record in the matter, and hence the question (of aid) does not arise.”
The statement that is in itself questionable as it is likely to trigger a row from the opposition as more than 700 farmers have died during the year-long protests at Delhi borders against the contentious laws that were canceled on Monday in parliament, as alleged by the farmer leaders.
Congress’s Rahul Gandhi was among the critics who attacked the centre over not allowing a discussion. “We wanted to discuss MSP (issue), we wanted to discuss the (UP) Lakhimpur Kheri incident, we wanted to discuss the 700 farmers who died in this agitation, and unfortunately that discussion has not been allowed,” Mr Gandhi said.
The rollback came ten days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered an “apology to the nation”, making the big repeal announcement. “While apologising to the nation, I want to say with a sincere and pure heart that maybe something was lacking in our tapasya (dedication) that we could not explain the truth to some of our farmer brothers,” he said last month.
While the rollback has taken place in parliament, as sought by the protesters, farmers are now pressuring the centre for assurance on the minimum support price for their produce – another key demand.