In a bid to clarify to pacify the farmers protesting against the contentious farm laws, the Union agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal had invited a delegation of farmers’ leaders. However, the move backfired with the farmers’ delegation miffed over the absence of Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
The farmers’ delegation demanded the presence of agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and tore up copies of the laws.
Notably, the Centre had invited around 31 farmers’ organisations and their leaders from Punjab to Delhi for a discussion on farm laws.
Farmers’ body issues statement
All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee issued a statement on the incident. It said: “The meeting was an effort to try and create a false impression that the central government is engaging with farmers, when in fact it is going all out to roll out and enforce the black anti-farmer laws.”
“First, the government should be ready to review and if necessary, repeal the three laws. Second, the government should be ready to consider legislating the minimum support price as a legal right and deal with input cost, food security and other issues,” the statement provides.
Avik Saha, convenor of the AIKSCC, said the meeting with the agriculture secretary “did not meet any of these criteria” as the secretary could not repeal, amend or enact new laws.
“Rather his job is to implement the laws made by the government so he is the wrong person for the right discussion,” Saha said.
Farm laws under challenge in SC
The Supreme Court had on Monday (October 12) sought a reply from the Union government in connection with three petitions challenging the recently enacted farm laws. The bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde issued a notice to the Centre and directed it to file its reply in the matter within four weeks.
The farm laws were passed by the Parliament during the recently-concluded monsoon session amid outrage by the Opposition. Thereafter, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the contentious farm laws paving way for their enactment.
Notably, the farm laws have resulted in an outrage across the nation with several farming communities opposing it.
3 farm laws under challenge
The three laws that are under challenge are—Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
The petitioners alleged that the three farm laws passed by Parliament would dismantle the Agricultural Produce Market Committees system intended to ensure fair prices for farm products.
PM Modi blames Opposition for misleading farmers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has blamed Congress for misleading the farmers and said that the frustration of a party, which ruled for four generations, was at the root of this politics of opposition for opposition’s sake.
“Frustration of a party which has ended up riding the shoulders of others despite wielding power for four generations is behind this politics of opposition,” he said.
Interestingly, PM Modi and the BJP have hailed the new bills as “historic” that will help in doubling the income of farmers. On the contrary, the Opposition as well as the farming community is casting aspersions on the legislations. They are of the view that it is a step towards ending the system of MSP and government procurement that will severely impact the small and marginal farmers.
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