Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday accused the Centre of being insensitive and arrogant in its handling of the farmers’ protest, reported PTI. Gandhi made the remarks in her opening speech at a virtual meeting of the Congress Working Committee.

On Friday afternoon, the CWC passed a resolution demanding that the Centre repeal the three “anti-agri” laws forthwith, reported PTI.

“The agitation of farmers continues and the government has shown shocking insensitivity and arrogance going through the charade of consultations,” said Gandhi, according to National Herald. “It is abundantly clear that the three laws were prepared in haste and Parliament was consciously denied an opportunity for examining in any meaningful details their implications and impacts.”

Gandhi reiterated the Congress’ stand on the matter. “Our position has been very clear from the very beginning: We reject them categorically because they will destroy the foundations of food security that are based on the three pillars of MSP, public procurement and PDS [public distribution system],” she added.

Follow the live updates on the farmer protest here

Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on the outskirts of Delhi for nearly 60 days, demanding the repeal of the three agricultural laws passed in September. On Thursday, the farmers rejected the Centre’s proposal to suspend implementation of the three agricultural laws for 1.5 years. They remained firm on their demand for a complete rollback of the legislations.

On coronavirus and the economy

The Congress chief lauded the “courageous frontline health professionals and workers” in their fight against the coronavirus. She added that the party hopes the vaccination process will continue and be completed to the fullest extent.

However, Gandhi criticised the Centre for its handling of the pandemic. “The government has inflicted untold suffering on the people of our country by the manner in which it has managed the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “It will take years for the scars to heal.”

Gandhi attacked the Centre over the economy, adding that “panic privatisation” has gripped the government. “The economic situation remains grim and large parts of the economy like MSME and the informal sector have been decimated with the Government refusing to extend a lifeline,” she added. “Panic privatisation has gripped the Government and this is something that the Congress party can never accept and support.”

“When public expenditure has to be carefully prioritised, it is very painful to find huge amounts of money being allocated and spent on initiatives that can only be described as ‘personal vanity projects’. Equally anguishing is the manner in which the Government has weakened labour and environmental laws and its moving ahead with selling off of carefully built-up public assets.”

— Sonia Gandhi