Ahead of the third round of talks between the BJP-led central government and farmers’ representatives, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi called on all Indians to support their demand for a complete rollback of three contentious agricultural laws.
Sharing excerpts from news reports on how farmers in Bihar – where the APMCs or government mandis were abolished altogether in 2006 – have not received the minimum support price for their produce, Mr Gandhi continued his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he was “misleading the farmers on the new laws”.
“The farmer of Bihar is in a lot of trouble without MSP-APMC and now the PM has pushed the entire country into this well. In such a situation, it is our duty to support farmers, those who feed the country,” he tweeted.
बिहार का किसान MSP-APMC के बिना बेहद मुसीबत में है और अब PM ने पूरे देश को इसी कुएँ में धकेल दिया है।
ऐसे में देश के अन्नदाता का साथ देना हमारा कर्तव्य है। pic.twitter.com/Err20Pp0kv
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 5, 2020
The video is a compilation of PM Modi’s statements on how the laws, one of which scraps the APMC system, would benefit the farmers.
Recently, at a meeting with chief ministers, the Prime Minister had used Bihar’s example to emphasise the “problems APMC Act created and that’s why Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had abolished it” 14 years ago.
However, news reports indicate that despite claims of timely procurement, agricultural produce in Bihar has either not been bought at all or farmers haven’t received the government-assured price. Wheat is now rotting in the fields putting extreme financial strain on the state’s farmers, reports show.
The video ends with the message: “The Prime Minister has misled the country on how abolishing the APMC Act would harm the country. If you do not want the entire country’s farmer community to suffer, then support them.”
For many months now, Rahul Gandhi has led his party’s and the Opposition’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decisions on handling of the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, demonetisation, GST, and now the farm laws.
After weeks of continuous protests, including the mass “Delhi Chalo” agitation, farmers have called for a nationwide bandh on December 8.