Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ride to parliament on Monday drew sharp reactions from several BJP leaders and led to a brief detention of Randeep Surjewala among other leaders of his party. A case has now been filed against the Congress leaders and the tractor, which Mr Gandhi drove as a gesture to back the protesting farmers, has also been seized.
“I just want to bring the message of farmers – protesting against farm laws – to the parliament. Their message is being suppressed… and a discussion is not allowed inside the parliament. The black laws – meant to benefit two-three big businessmen – have to be repealed,” the Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad told reporters on Monday as he drove a red tractor. In a picture he shared on Twitter, he was seen behind the wheel, sporting a half-sleeved white shirt, beige trousers and a mask. The ex-Congress chief has been vehemently criticising the government over the controversial farm laws since the protests began last year.
No permission was sought by the Congress to protest, sources in Delhi Police have now said.
अगर खेत बेचने पर मजबूर करोगे, तो ट्रैक्टर संसद में चलेगा- सत्य की फ़सल उगाकर रहेंगे!
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 26, 2021
A case has been filed under the Motor Vehicles Act, IPC 188 and violation of Covid protocol. Sources said the police are probing how Mr Gandhi drove the tractor, which didn’t have a number plate, to parliament. The tractor was brought, according to sources, to the protest site late on Sunday night.
Officials say riding a tractor in the heart of the national capital is not allowed, and it’s a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act.
Also, large gatherings are not allowed near parliament during the monsoon session under section 144, they say.
“Rahul Gandhi is playing politics. Farmers are being used as a political tool. The centre has said if there are issues with the laws it is ready to rework them. They are ready for talks,” BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe told NDTV on Monday.
Farmers are now running what they call a “mini parliament” at Jantar Mantar to protest the laws, which they say will hit their income. Yesterday, the protest completed eight months.