A day ahead of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers against the recently enacted farm laws, the ruling BJP launched a brazen attack on the Opposition, especially Congress, for jumping into the farmers’ protest.
Union Cabinet minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Congress was trying to bring the same changes in the agriculture sector that BJP has brought. However, it is now opposing the reforms for political mileage, the minister alleged.
Ravi Shankar Prasad also targeted NCP leader Sharad Pawar, who has been vocal against the Centre’s failure to end the farmers’ protest. The minister said that Congress and NCP were in favour of privatisation of the agriculture sector when they were in power. Prasad said the repeal of the APMC Act was part of the Congress manifesto in 2019 and contract farming was initiated in several Congress states during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tenure.
“NCP chief Sharad Pawar, the agriculture minister in the UPA government, had said in an interview that the APMC Act would be gone in six months. It was also during the UPA rule, that the Planning Commission had suggested that the Central government may enact inter-state agriculture trade act,” Prasad said.
BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis targeted Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for the latter’s support to the farmers’ protest. He said Delhi government was the first to clear the farm laws. Fadnavis also attacked TMC, DMK and the Left Front for being hypocritical.
Symbolic Bharat Bandh
The Bharat Bandh called on Tuesday will be a symbolic one and will be observed between 11 am and 3 pm. Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said that the protest will begin at 11 am so people can reach their office on time. Emergency services and weddings will be allowed, he added.
During the protest, the members of the farmers’ unions are likely to block national highways and toll plazas. Supply of goods might be affected as several transport unions have also extended their support to the farmers’ agitation.
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