The Congress Tuesday said it was not against farm sector reforms, but the ones brought in through the three recent laws did not reflect those changes, and demanded that these legislations be scrapped by convening a special session of Parliament.
Senior Congress leader and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said agriculture reforms should be discussed afresh in Parliament and new laws enacted after consulting all stakeholders.
His assertions came even as farmers observe a “Bharat Bandh” on Tuesday to press for their demand of repealing the three laws.
Mr Hooda also said the Minimum Support Price mechanism needs to be incorporated in the law because it is a must to protect the interest of farmers.
He alleged the farm laws brought in by the centre were passed without any consultation with farmers, and that the government pushed them through as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the country.
“The government must immediately scrap the three farm laws and convene a Parliament session to discuss reforms in the agri sector,” he told a press conference.
“We are not against reforms but the current laws must be repealed and a fresh reform process initiated after discussion and consultations with all stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Hooda also asked as to why the government did not agree to the opposition demand of bringing another law to punish those buying farm produce below the MSP.
Mr Hooda also alleged the BJP-led Haryana government has lost the trust of the people and of the assembly as it “mishandled” the farmers’ agitation and, therefore, it should face a vote of no confidence.
“I have written to the Governor demanding the immediate convening of the Haryana Assembly as the present BJP government in the state has insulted farmers,” he said.
The former chief minister also stressed that the Congress manifesto in 2019 promising abolition of the APMC Act was being “misrepresented” by the BJP.
“We had promised to create procurement centres and mandis nearby farmers’ areas. We created such mandis and centres, some even in my own village in Haryana which has a small population of 10,000,” he said.
On Haryana, he said the Congress would move a no-confidence motion against the Manohar Lal Khattar government which has “lost the confidence of people as also the MLAs” as a large number of them were supporting the farmers’ protest.