Repeal Farm Laws, Reverse Fuel Price Hikes: Opposition's 11 Demands

Today's meeting takes off from the unprecedented display of unity in the monsoon session, which saw a united opposition taking on the government over issues like the Pegasus scandal, rising fuel prices and the farmers' agitation over three central laws.

Repeal Farm Laws, Reverse Fuel Price Hikes: Opposition's 11 Demands

Nineteen Oppositon parties met virtually with eyes on 2024 elections

New Delhi: Nineteen political parties today joined a virtual meet called by Congress President Sonia Gandhi - an initiative meant to signal Congress readiness to corral the opposition and lead the charge against BJP. A joint statement summed up their demands.

Here are the 11 demands put forth by the Opposition:

  1. Marshall and augment all vaccine production capabilities in India, procure vaccines globally and speed up the free universal mass vaccination drive immediately; provide adequate compensation for those who lost their lives due to Covid; proceed to vastly expand the public health care system.

  2. Central Government must implement free cash transfers of Rs.7,500 per month to all families outside the income tax bracket. Distribute free food kits containing all essential commodities of daily consumption to all the needy.

  3. Withdraw unprecedented hikes in Central Excise duties on Petroleum and Diesel, reduce prices of cooking gas and essential commodities, particularly cooking oil and control galloping inflation.

  4. Repeal the three anti-agriculture laws and compulsorily guarantee Minimum Support Price to farmers.

  5. Stop and reverse the unbridled privatisation of the public sector; repeal the labour codes which dilute the rights of the labour and the working class. Restore the rights of the working people to protest and for wage bargaining.

  6. Implement monetary stimulus packages for the revival of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), not the provision of loans. Increase public investments to build our economic and social infrastructure generating jobs and boosting domestic demand. Fill up the vacancies in government jobs.

  7. Vastly enlarge Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) with an increasing guarantee for 200 days with at least doubling of wages. Legislate an urban employment guarantee programme on similar lines.

  8. Prioritise the vaccination of teachers, staff and students to ensure the early reopening of educational institutions.

  9. Hold immediate Supreme Court-monitored judicial enquiry into the use of Pegasus Spyware for surveillance of people. High-level investigation into the Rafale deal - the cancellation of the earlier order and placing of a new order at a higher cost.

  10. Release all political prisoners, including those under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the Bhima Koregaon case and anti-CAA protests. Stop using other draconian laws like the sedition/National Security Act to violate the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people. Release all media personnel detained for exercising their fundamental right of freedom of expression.

  11. Release all political prisoners in Jammu And Kashmir. Restore full statehood including J&K cadre of central services. Conduct a free and fair election at the earliest.