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Mann condemns Centre for Punjab’s exclusion from panel on MSP

The announcement of this committee was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year, following protests by the farmers’ Unions against three farm bills.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday condemned the Centre for not giving the state a representation in the committee formed on minimum support price (MSP).

“Farmers of Punjab are already stuck in crop cycle and debt..MSP is our legal right..Centre should ensure representation of Punjab in the MSP committee,” Mann tweeted.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha said it is not only unfair to exclude Punjab, but also violates principles of federalism. “The BJP government has deliberately excluded Punjab because the state which took the lead in opposing the three farm bills had coerced the BJP government to constitute this committee,” he said.

The Union government set up the committee on Monday to address farm issues like diversification of agriculture and natural farming as also to work out suitable mechanisms for MSP. But, no one from Punjab figures on the list. The announcement of this committee was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year, following protests by the farmers’ Unions against three farm bills.

Chadha said it shows the anti-farmers and anti-Punjab policies of the BJP government. Most of the members of the committee are those who supported the Union government during protests against the anti-farm laws, he alleged.

“The Central Government’s Committee on MSP, which excludes a major agricultural state like Punjab, is the latest example of the BJP’s cynical and short-sighted moves. By deliberately excluding Punjab, the Central Government has insulted our people,” the AAP leader said.

“Punjab as the birth-place of the Green Revolution and the food bowl of India has not been allowed to have governmental representation, while bureaucrats from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Odisha have all been given spots in this 26-member committee,” Chadha said in a tweet.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also demanded the Centre recast the committee to include all stakeholders including representatives from Punjab as well as agri-experts.

SAD Spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said the government should have avoided nominating members who were the architects of the farm laws including its chairman Sanjay Agrawal who was the former agriculture secretary and member (agriculture) NITI Aayog Ramesh Chand.