Congress to launch agitations against Modi government's new farm laws

After Parliament passed the Bills, Rahul Gandhi tweeted from abroad: “Black laws passed by the Modi government will destroy the farm markets under the Agriculture Produce Marketing Act. How will the farmers get their MSP? Why don’t the bills guara...

PTI
Rajya Sabha MPs of various political parties stage a protest after the passing of two farm bills in the house.
NEW DELHI: The Congress will launch agitations in states against the contentious farm legislation that the Modi government has pushed through, and will try to mobilise like-minded opposition parties on a common platform. The AICC has already advised the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCSs) to take up the matter among the masses. The fact many usually government-friendly parties such as TRS too opposed the Bills has enthused the main opposition.

The move of about 12 Opposition parties to jointly give notice for a no-confidence motion against the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman for the manner in which he brushed aside their demand for a vote on the Bills the Congress hopes will be further built into a joint agitation against these measures as they did once against the aborted land acquisition (Amend) Bill.

Whether the Opposition can make the concerns about these legislation into a pan-India issue by tapping into farmers who form the biggest social segment, or whether it will remain limited to farmers’ issue of a few states such as Punjab and Haryana, remains to be seen.


After Parliament passed the Bills, Rahul Gandhi tweeted from abroad: “Black laws passed by the Modi government will destroy the farm markets under the Agriculture Produce Marketing Act. How will the farmers get their MSP? Why don’t the bills guarantee MSP? The government is trying to enslave farmers to corporates and the country will not let this happen,” tweeting under hashtag #KisanVirodhiNarendraModi”.

It is a strange coincidence that Gandhi was abroad and had skipped the Parliament session even when the Congress mobilised Opposition parties on the issue of the land acquisition (Amend) Bill during the first Modi government.

Senior Congress leaders held a joint press conference and termed it “a black day” when these Bills were passed.
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“This is a black day not only for farmers but also for our federal structure as the Central government encroached into the domain of the states by passing these anti-farmer Bills. Some years ago, this government had tried to hand over lands to corporates through the land acquisition (Amend) Bill. Since that attempt was resisted and defeated by the Opposition, this government is now trying to hand over the agricultural lands of farmers to big corporates,” said senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

Party MP from Punjab, Pratap Singh Bajwa, said; “By pushing through these Bills, the Modi government has served a death warrant on farmers, especially in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh”.

Congress leader from Bihar, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, said, “ever since the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) was discarded by the Bihar government sometime back, Bihar has witnessed the worst distress sale of farm produce by farmers. Now, the Modi government wants to create a similar situation for farmers across the country. The claim that MSP will be protected is nothing but a lie”.
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