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Farm bills far-sighted, revolutionary; Congress misleading farmers: J P Nadda

BJP president J P Nadda on Wednesday put up a strong defence of three farm sector bills tabled in Parliament which have triggered protests from farmers, saying they are "far-sighted and revolutionary", will boost agriculture production, get peasants better prices for their produce and bring in investment.

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 16-09-2020 18:06 IST | Created: 16-09-2020 18:06 IST
Farm bills far-sighted, revolutionary; Congress misleading farmers: J P Nadda

BJP president J P Nadda on Wednesday put up a strong defence of three farm sector bills tabled in Parliament which have triggered protests from farmers, saying they are "far-sighted and revolutionary", will boost agriculture production, get peasants better prices for their produce and bring in investment. At a press conference, he also accused the Congress of being "double-faced" in protesting against these proposed legislations and of "misleading" farmers, noting that the party had promised many of these measures in its manifesto.

He also sought to allay farmers' concerns over minimum support price (MSP) and agricultural produce market committee (APMC), saying both these measures will remain in place. Asked about opposition to these bills even from his party's ally Shiromani Akali Dal, Nadda said the BJP has been in consultation with it and addressed its concerns. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Wednesday that came out strongly against the three bills and said his party can sacrifice anything for farmers' interests.

The Union government had on Monday introduced 'The Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill', 'The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill', and 'The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill' to replace the ordinances promulgated earlier. It has argued these measures will free farmers from the existing government-controlled markets and prices, and that they can enter into agreement with private parties for a better price of their produce.

The existing government support measures will, however, continue, it has insisted. Nadda told reporters that these three bills will play an important role in changing the fate of farmers for better by removing the bottlenecks which prevented them from getting a better price for their produce.

"These bill are very far-sighted and revolutionary in many aspects... They will bring an air of freedom to farmers," the BJP president said. Hitting out at the Congress, he said the party had asked its state governments in Karnataka, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Meghalaya to denotify fruits and vegetables from APMC.

"The Modi government has implemented what the Congress had proposed," he said, noting that the opposition party had batted for the measures mentioned in the bills in its manifesto. The Congress has become habituated to doing politics over every issue, he said. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over in 2014, farmers and the disadvantaged classes are at the centre of his government decisions, he said.

'The Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, he said, seeks to help farmers in selling their produce anywhere they want and negotiate better prices. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill seeks to help peasants enter into a model agreement with buyers of their produce and rule out any threat to their ownership rights over their land.

Some farmer organisations have termed these bills as "anti-farmers", alleging that they will leave them to the fate of market forces..


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