In the wake of protests by farmers, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday accused the opposition, including the Congress and erstwhile NDA ally SAD, of misleading the country’s farmers on the new agriculture-related laws.
“The Congress had announced in 2005 to abolish the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) system and then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda implemented it in his state in 2007. Even Rahul Gandhi publicly announced in 2013 to abolish it in the entire country.
“We have implemented the same law in 2020, which they are now opposing. It is extremely difficult to understand why the Congress and other opposition parties are opposing the laws," Prasad said.
He also accused the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of “doing the same politics" in Punjab. “They have their own politics with the Congress. They are also misleading the farmers."
“Farmers are on the roads and agitating against the NDA government. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made it clear that farmers will not be affected. Middlemen and Inspector Raj will end.
“In fact, the new laws are beneficial for them. They will now be able to sell their crops anywhere in the country above the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Earlier, the farmers had to sell their produce in market committees in their own districts," the senior BJP leader asserted.
“These are the reasons why the NDA government under the leadership of Nitish Kumar in Bihar had abolished APMC way back in 2006," Prasad said.
The Union Minister said that state governments would be entitled to penalise companies if they forcibly buy farm produce below the MSP. The companies would not be able to grab the land or force farmers to sell land in case of crop loss.
He said that since the Modi government came to power in 2014, it had increased the MSP of 23 crops.