The Lok Sabha on Thursday, 17 September, passed the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, with the Opposition parties staging a walkout.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the passing of two farm bills in the Lok Sabha. PM Modi described the bills as a significant moment in the history of the agricultural sector. Calling the bills ‘historic,’ PM Modi asserted that they will rid farmers and the farm sector of middlemen.
"Many forces are trying to mislead the farmers. I assure all peasants that MSP and government procurement of crops will continue along with lots of other option,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
Farmers across Punjab and Haryana have been holding protests in recent weeks over three farm sector bills.
Just before the bills were passed, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Union Cabinet Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the government to protest what she called "anti-farmer ordinances and legislation". "Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter & sister," she tweeted.
‘Govt Should Pay Attention to Farmers’
BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy attacked the government over the farmers’ bill. He questioned the government saying “how can a Government despite being in majority in Lok Sabha yet forms a coalition called NDA, but does not consult its allies before introducing a Bill in Parliament on a subject concerning farmers,” Swamy tweeted.
The Rajya Sabha MP also urged the government to withdraw the Bill and then negotiate with allies for a consensus Bill.
Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati also questioned the government over passing the contentious bills, she said that the two farmer bills have been passed in the parliament without clearing doubts of the farmers, the BSP chief further added that BSP didn’t agree with the bills, the government needs to pay attention to what the farmers want.
Congress Targets Dushyant Chautala, Demands Resignation
AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala targeted Haryana Deputy Chief Minister and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala over Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s resignation.
The Congress leader said that Dushyant should repeat Harsimrat Badal’s resignation ‘drama’ and resign from the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
“You love your post, but not farmers? The farmers won’t forgive you. JJP by backing the government is snatching away the farmer's bread and butter,” Surjewala tweeted in Hindi.
Rajya Sabha MP Deependar Singh Hooda also questioned Haryana Deputy CM over Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s resignation .
He said “when all the parties of Punjab can unite in favour of the farmers and come together to protest against these farmer-lethal ordinances, then why are the ruling BJP-JJP leaders of Haryana betraying the farmers?”
What Did the Contentious Ordinances Say?
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance
Under this ordinance, the farmer can sell his finished crops to any merchant anywhere. There will be no compulsion to sell in APMC mandi of their own specific area. The government is putting this forward as part of “one nation, one market.”
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services
Under this ordinance, the farmer broadly signs a contract to sell the crops on the basis of the parameters set by his crop standards. It is believed that this may reduce the risk of the farmer.
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