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Opposition backs farmers; dares SAD, JJP to quit NDA

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 18, 2020 Published on September 18, 2020

The resignation of Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Union Cabinet, the pressure on Jannayak Janata Party to leave the alliance with the BJP in Haryana and a united move by about 100 farmers’outfits to organise a nationwide bandh on September 25 against the three Ordinances have energised the Opposition camp. The Opposition parties pledged support to the protests of farmers and challenged JJP and it’s leader Dushyant Chautala to resign from the State Government if they really care for farmers.

Farmers’ concerns

Reminding the Centre about a joint agitation against the Land Acquisition Ordinance of 2015, the farmers’ leaders alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “cheated” farmers by passing the Bills based on the three Ordinances without holding any consultations with the farmers and the State governments. A meeting of the working group of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has announced nationwide bandh on September 25. They alleged that the Bills are pro-corporate and anti-farmer. “These three Bills will completely stop Government procurement of crops, bring to a grinding halt price security as private mandis shall be set up and price and trade regulation of all cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion and potato shall be removed from coverage under essential commodities,” farmers leaders told reporters after the meeting.

 

They said the statements by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president JP Nadda assuring that MSP will continue are not true. They said Shanta Kumar committee appointed by the Centre declared that only six per cent farmers enjoy benefit of MSP, that it should be wound up, that FCI and NAFED procurement should stop and that food grain supply under PDS should stop.

‘Government reponsibility’

“World over, in all countries, barring none, price security for farmers’ produce is always provided for by Government, not by companies, which only buy cheap to sell dear and earn huge profits. Crop once produced has to be sold, otherwise it will perish and lose value. BJP claims that food grain production has increased in India. More food grain requires more Government procurement, without which companies will bring down prices even faster. This BJP govt is batting strongly for the corporate profit by opening up the entire food chain for them,” they said.

Opposition parties said the demands of the farmers are genuine and they will support their cause. Talking to reporters, Congress’s chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “These three Bills are black laws. They are against the interests of farmers and workers. Modi says that Opposition is trying to mislead farmers. This is baseless.”

 

He said if Badal was committed for the cause of farmers, she should have resigned from the Cabinet when the Ordinances were passed in June. “What was she doing all these days,” he asked. On Chautala, he said if he does not resign, it will be biggest betrayal of Haryana and India’s farmers.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the resignation of Akali Dal, the oldest ally of BJP reflects rejection of the anti-farmer, anti-people policies of Modi Government. “These legislations destroy Indian agriculture, undermine food security and ruin our ‘annadaatas’. Scrap them,” he demanded.

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Published on September 18, 2020
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