Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of selling farmers’ right to big businessmen by showing dreams of ‘self reliant India’ and said the new farm Bills would badly affect their economy.

After staging a protest in Shimla (IN PHOTO) on new farm Bills passed in Parliament by the Union government, he said BJP used its draconian majority in Parliament to pass the three Bills without prior discussion or consent of the Opposition parties.

“Abolishing the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) system will totally destroy the farmers as they will neither get the Minimum Support Price (MSP) nor suitable price of their crop as per the market rates. The true example of this is NDA-ruled state of Bihar where APMC Act was done away which led to plight of farmers in the state going from bad to worse. The traders in Bihar are now purchasing the crops from the farmers at throwaway prices and selling these crops in the other states at MSP rates, thus garnering huge profit margins. The implementation of these laws will make farmersfarm labourers biggest losers while a handful of capitalist will make huge profits,” he added.

Rathore further stated that the Modi government’s claim that now the farmer can sell his produce anywhere in the country, is a white lie.

As per the agriculture census 2015-16, 86 per cent of farmers in the country own less than 5 acres of land while average land holding stood at 2 acres or even less than that.

Haryana Cong seeks withdrawal of ‘black laws’: Haryana’s main Opposition Congress held a protest against the agriculture-related new laws outside the party’s state headquarters here on Monday, with its leaders claiming these legislations will make ‘Atma Nirbhar’ farmers “dependent” and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.

The Congress workers also raised slogans against the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Haryana. Carrying placards, some of which read “Annadata ki suno pukar, bandh karo atyachar (Listen to farmers, end their oppression)”, the party workers demanded that the “black laws”, which are “anti-farmers”, be withdrawn. A separate protest was also held by the Chandigarh unit of the Congress, which led by its president Pradeep Chhabra, took out a tractor rally to protest against the “draconian farm bills”.

Pilot says Centre betraying farmers: Congress leader Sachin Pilot hit out at the Centre over the new farm laws on Monday and accused it of betraying farmers in a challenging time.

“Recently passed farm bills are being opposed in the entire country. The constituents of the NDA are opposing these too. The Congress decided to fight alongside farmers from all over the country. Now, we will take it further, but I believe that the central government has betrayed the farmers in a challenging time,” Pilot told reporters here.