Udayavni Special

Farm bills: Cong steps up attack; Rahul accuses govt of working for development of crony capitalists


PTI, Sep 22, 2020, 3:43 PM IST

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday stepped up its attack on the government over the farm bills issue, with Rahul Gandhi accusing the Modi government of working for the development of crony capitalists and destroying farmers.

The Congress and some other opposition parties have been protesting against the farm bills, alleging these would harm the interest of farmers and benefit corporates, a claim denied by the government.

The Centre has asserted that the bills would be beneficial for farmers and increase their income.

“2014- Modi ji’s election promise of Swaminathan commission MSP (minimum support price) for farmers. 2015- Modi government said in court that this will not be possible. 2020- Black agriculture laws,” Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.

Then, in a four-line verse in Hindi, the former Congress president sarcastically said, “Modi ji’s intention is ‘clear with his new anti-agriculture experiment”.

Development of crony capitalist ‘friends’ at the cost of farmers, he said, according to a rough translation of his Hindi tweet.

Senior Congress leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram also attacked the government over the farm bills issue.

“Government has released advertisements defending the farm bills. One line in the advertisement says that ”One Nation One Market” will give freedom to the farmers,” he said in a series of tweets.

“Eight-five per cent of farmers are small farmers with little surplus to sell. If they have to sell the few bags of paddy or wheat, they need ”Many Thousand Markets” all over the country, not ”One Market”,” Chidambaram asserted.

“What do the Bills do to create thousands of farmers’ markets in large villages and small towns?” he asked.

Asserting that thousands of markets will give freedom to farmers, he asked if the government”s intention is to guarantee MSP, why is there no clause in the bills that stipulate that the “price shall not be less than the MSP” for that produce.

The Congress on Monday announced a massive people’s movement which would include protest marches, agitations and collecting two crore farmers” signatures for a memorandum against the legislations to be submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind.

This was decided at a meeting of Congress general secretaries and state in-charges, the first physical meeting held by the party at its 24 Akbar Road headquarters here since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

A resolution hitting out at the three farm bills — the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, — was also passed at the meeting.

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