Ashok Gehlot targets Modi Govt over farmers’ protests
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot targeted the Centre on Sunday over the ongoing protests by peasant organisations and said farmers are on the streets because of the Narendra Modi government’s “way of suppressing the people’s voice rather than listening to them”.
With his Congress party extending support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call by the farmers, Gehlot said that when party leader Rahul Gandhi and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh took out a tractor rally in Punjab in support of the farmers, the Centre should have taken it seriously to avoid such a situation.
“Due to the way the NDA government works, farmers across the country have come on the streets today and have declared a ‘Bharat Bandh’. The Modi government has taken away all constitutional traditions and democratic methods. Dialogue is most important in a democracy, but the government did not talk to the state governments and farmers organization on the new agricultural laws,” he said in a statement.
Gehlot said that the Modi government’s attitude is “full of arrogance”, so they are not listening to the voice of the people and the opposition.
“Today, farmers across the country are on the streets because of the Modi government’s way of suppressing the people’s voice rather than listening to them,” he said.
Farmer unions, which have been protesting on Delhi’s borders for 11 days demanding the repeal of the Centre’s new agri-marketing laws, have called a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 8. The Congress and some other Opposition parties on Sunday came out in strong support of the Bharat Bandh’ call.
In Mathura, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar Lallu said his party had been opposing the laws since beginning as these are “anti-farmer”.
He claimed a farmer is forced to sell his paddy at Rs 1,100-1,200 per quintal instead of Rs 1,868 MSP declared by the government and his party “stands with farmers” in this protest.
The farmers are protesting against the 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.
Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
The Centre has maintained that MSP and mandi mechanisms will stay.