The BJP’s dispute with the Congress over the farmers’ protest carried on late into the evening today with party chief JP Nadda tweeting a video of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The video, Mr Nadda said, again exposes the Congress, which is confusing the farmers.
“The reality of the Congress, which confuses farmers and deprives them of their rights, is revealed again. Sonia Gandhi used to advocate a market free of middlemen for farmers and now opposes it. This is the proof of the Congress’s opportunistic thinking, little information and double talk,” his tweet read.
किसानों को भ्रमित करने और उन्हें उनके अधिकारों से वंचित रखने वाली कांग्रेस का सच फिर उजागर हुआ है। सोनिया गांधी जी पहले किसानों के लिए बिचौलिया मुक्त बाजार की वकालत करती थी और अब इसका विरोध करती है। ये कांग्रेस की मौक़ापरस्त सोच, कम जानकारी व बार-बार बात से पलटने का प्रमाण है। pic.twitter.com/kL17RnssSv
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) December 24, 2020
In the undated video, Sonia Gandhi appears to be speaking in favour of the removal of middlemen to enable farmers to get “the right price for produce”.
The BJP has been claiming that the Congress is misleading and inciting farmers for political gains. Various leaders and ministers of the BJP have said that the reforms made by the NDA government in the farm sector, were on the opposition’s to-do list when it was in power.
Earlier this month, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress was in favour of privatisation in the farm sector when it was in power. The repeal of the APMC Act was part of the 2019 manifesto of the Congress. Contract farming also started during the Manmohan Singh government in many Congress states, the minister had said.
These are also the various counts on which farmers have demanded the scrapping of the Centre’s three farm laws passed in September.
The farmers are apprehensive that the new laws which are meant to do away with middlemen, might lead to a phasing out of the minimum support prices guaranteed by the government and the mandis. This, they say, would leave them open to exploitation by private buyers.
Contract farming, which is also allowed under the new laws, would lead to similar results, they say.
The Congress has hit back, saying they have always been in favour of farmers and kept the focus on support price.
Today, Congress’s Rahul Gandhi led a Congress delegation to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and seek his intervention to end the massive protests around Delhi. The party has demanded a joint session of parliament to discuss the farm laws, alleging that they were pushed through by the government in violation of rules.