Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Friday said the Centre and protesting farmers should ensure that stubbornness and ego do not come in the way of resolving differences over the new agri-marketing laws. The former Union minister said it is after a gap of more than 30 years that farmers have gathered near Delhi to push for their demands.
It is an opportunity for both the government and farmers. Stubbornness and ego from both sides should not come in the way (of finding a solution to impasse over new laws), she told reporters at her bungalow here. Her comments came after scribes sought her views on the nearly two-month-long protest by farmers on Delhi borders.
Multiple rounds of talks have failed to break the deadlock on the three new agri laws enacted by the Centre in September. The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said farmers came together under the leadership of farm leaders Mahendra Singh Tikait and Sharad Joshi around 30 years ago.
In 1988, Tikait had mobilised a large number of farmers of Uttar Pradesh and reached Delhi to seek redressal of their grievances related to agrarian distress and price of their produce, among others. But differences between them (farmers) surfaced after some time then, said Bharti.
Gujarat has always been a state of farmers. Farming was the foundation of Gujarats economy, industries came later (there), said. Thus, a big opportunity has come in the way of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi as well as farmers (to resolve differences over the new laws), the BJP leader said.
Farmers are demanding a repeal of the three farm laws which seek to encourage private trade, contract farming and remove stock limit on foodgrains. However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.