Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday criticised the Opposition parties for extending support to ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the protesting farmers.
Thakur said this was not a farmers’ movement but a political agitation of opposition parties with a sole objective to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA Government.
“It is strange that the same political parties who have supported the Bill are now opposing the same with an eye to gain political mileage.
The main objective behind this agitation was to remain in news and misguide the farmers by raking up baseless issues,” he added.
He said the Congress party in its election manifesto in 2009 had categorically said that Congress would abolish the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees Act and would also abolish Essential Commodities Act and bring new laws instead of this.
“In fact, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his press conference on 27 December 2013 had said that the Congress ruled states would de-list fruits and vegetables under APMC Act so that their prices could be brought down.
But now, the same Congress party is opposing the Acts,” he said.
He further stated that NCP chief Sharad Pawar when he was Agriculture Minister in the UPA government had desperately tried to implement agricultural reforms.
“Sharad Pawar had written a letter in August 2010 and November 2014 to Chief Ministers of all the states to implement Model APMC Act and amend states APMC Act.
As Union Agriculture Minister had openly supported the Agricultural Market Reforms in May 2012 but now he had taken a U turn and was opposing the Act.
Besides, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Adami Party which is opposing these laws and supervising the whole movement, have implemented this law on 23 November in his state,” he said.
He said that Swaraj Party Chief Yogendra Yadav and Akali Dal had also supported the reforms in the past but now they too were opposing it just to gain lost political grounds.
Thakur urged the people of the state to stay away from ‘Bharat Band’ call as this was a handy work of rejected and dejected political parties.
“The interests of farmers are safe in the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was committed to double the income of farmers by 2022,” he added.