Reacting on the contentious farm bills, which has erupted controversy following the resignation of Union Minister and Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Congress asserted that it will “not sign on the death warrant”, on Sunday.
Another fierce opposition of BJP, West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress, sought to know how many BJP MPs had gained a thorough understanding of the Farmers’ and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
Introducing the Bill, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “I want to assure everyone that the bills have nothing to do with MSPs. MSPs were there and will continue. I would request everyone to reconsider their views on the farm bills. The two bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. The farmers will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country.”
Addressing the House, BJP MP from Rajasthan Bhupendra Yadav attacking Congress said, “You ruled the country for years but still couldn’t minimise the ratio between rural and urban income. These bills will ensure justice to farmers — something they have been looking forward to for the last 70 years. These bills will also empower the farmers digitally. There is a need to strengthen trade, processing and value addition.”
“We will not sign on this death warrant of farmers. Agriculture markets are a state subject. APMC and MSP should not be tinkered with. I am unable to understand why is there a need to bring this bill at the time when the country is fighting a pandemic and its neighbour along the Line of Actual Control. Tomar has only spoken to his alliance partners, did he speak to any stakeholders? Why can’t you start this from Gujarat first? If it is a success, others will follow,” he said.
“Working group on agriculture production set up by Manmohan Singh government in 2010 recommended that APMC and corporate license monopolies should not be allowed. This is your report, your conclusions, so why are you playing politics today,” Bhupendra Yadav said.
Meanwhile, three Rajya Sabha MPs — CPI(M)’s KK Ragesh, TMC’s Derek O’Brien and DMK’s T Siva moved an amendment to send the two farms Bills to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha
Yesterday, Rajya Sabha Member and Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram launched an attack on the Modi-led BJP government over the farm bills and said Narendra Modi and BJP spokespersons have ‘deliberately and maliciously’ distorted the Congress Manifesto over the issue.
“The Prime Minister and the BJP spokespersons have deliberately and maliciously distorted the Congress Manifesto. We promised to promote Farmers Producer Companies/Organisations to enable farmers to access inputs, technology and markets; and to establish farmers’ markets with adequate infrastructure and support in large villages and small towns to enable the farmer to bring his/her produce and freely market the same,” Chidambaram said.
Ahead of the general elections in 2019, Congress had suggested changes to farm laws that would see the AMPC Act abolished