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Karnataka Congress holds protest against state govt


Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

Karnataka Congress on Wednesday

staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue at the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the state legislature here, against the ruling BJP for amending the APMC act, proposed nominations to gram panchayats by postponing elections and plans to amend labour laws, among other issues.

The opposition party also hit out at the central and state governments over their handling of the COVID-19 crisis and packages announced for those in distress.

Several state party leaders, including KPCC President D K Shivakumar, Congress Legislature Party and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, and MLAs took part in the protest, holding placards and shouting slogans against the government.

The decision to hold the protest was arrived at the CLP meeting, chaired by Siddaramaiah last evening.

"It is inevitable for us to start this protest to save this country. We are starting this from Mahatma Gandhi statue and will take it across the state in the days to come," Shivakumar told reporters here.

Alleging that there was a conspiracy to nominate BJP workers as members to panchayats without holding elections because of COVID-19, he warned the Chief Minister of state- wide wide protests in this regard, while demanding that either the elections be held or current members be continued.

"We will protest against all the anti-people policies of the government like amendment to the APMC act, which is anti farmer aimed at benefiting capitalists. It should be withdrawn immediately," he added.

Targeting the government over the treatment meted out to labourers during COVID-19 and relief not reaching them properly, the KPCC President said "they are planning to amend labour laws to woo investors from outside. we have to protect the interest of the labourers first."

Despite objections from opposition parties, the government recently came out with an ordinance that amended the laws to curtail the powers of the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC).

While the government said it was aimed at bringing in reforms to facilitate market access for farmers, opposition parties have vehemently opposed it, alleging that it would dilute the APMC laws and affect farmers' interests.

Also, the government is reportedly mulling over an ordinance relaxing labour laws in line with other BJP ruled states, that includes extension in work hours, among other things.

Alleging that both state and centre central have "failed" from the beginning in managing the COVID-19 crisis, Shivakumar hit out the stimulus packages announced, calling them "bogus".

He also accused the state government of not allowing the party to hold its legislature party meeting at Vidhana Soudha last evening.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 18:11 IST