Hours after eight Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended for the remainder of the monsoon session for opposing the controversial farm bills and several farmer outfits expressing their anger against the Centre, the Congress party on Monday declared that it will launch a nationwide agitation against the farm bills.
The farm bills have been already cleared by the Parliament and will be sent to the President for assent. The bills include Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
Congress to launch signature campaign
Following a meeting of senior Congress leaders, KC Venugopal said the party will launch a countrywide signature campaign and collect over two crore signatures against the farm bills. He added that a memorandum will be subsequently submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said a series of press conferences will also be organised against the farm bills across the country. The state party chiefs and other senior leaders will take out marches in their respective states and submit the memorandum to the respective state governors, Surjewala added.
Congress criticises SAD
TheCongress also accused the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of indulging in double-standards and being dishonest regarding the issue. Congress also questioned SAD on why the party still remains to be a part of the ruling coalition.
Congress and some other opposition parties have been protesting against the farm bills, alleging that the proposed legislations would harm the interest of farmers and benefit corporates.
MSP for wheat, lentils increased
The Centre on Monday announced a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat. Wheat is a key crop in Punjab and Haryana, where the farmers’ protest has been loudest. The MSP of wheat has been increased by Rs 50 a quintal and will be Rs 1,975 per quintal this season.
The other big crop in the area, mustard, will now fetch Rs 4,650 a quintal–a jump of Rs 225 a quintal.
The price of grams and lentils has also moved up. The price of gram has gone up by Rs 225 to touch Rs 5,100. Lentils had the highest hike of Rs 300 a quintal and will now cost Rs 5,100 a quintal.
PM Modi criticises opposition for “misleading farmers”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday targeted the Opposition for its criticism of the two controversial farm bills that were passed by the Parliament in the monsoon session. PM Modi hailed the farm bills as “historic” and took a dig at Opposition leaders for “misleading the farmers”.
He said the new bills will enable the farmers to sell their produce at a place and price of their choice.
PM Modi said this during the virtual foundation stone laying ceremony for nine highway projects in Bihar.
Taking a jibe at Congress, PM Modi said: “After these historical changes in the agricultural sector, some people are losing control. Now, these people are trying to mislead farmers on MSP. They are the same people who sat for years on the recommendations of the Swaminathan committee on MSP.”
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