Patna, Sep 29 : In the wake of protests by farmers and different political parties against three new agriculture-related laws, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday accused the Congress of a U-turn on its own manifesto in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
“During the release of the 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had mentioned the abolition of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) system and promotion of contract farming. The Congress and other opposition parties are now instigating the farmers to oppose the laws,” Tomar said while addressing a virtual meeting of the Bihar BJP leaders in Patna.
Meanwhile, Bihar Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar told IANS: “We are giving clarifications on the new farm laws just because the opposition parties are misleading farmers to agitate.”
About the Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) opposition to the new legislations, he said: “The SAD leaders are also involved in misleading farmers. The laws are meant to break the monopoly of middlemen in the agriculture sector. Unfortunately, they (SAD leaders) are on the side of middlemen. They are just doing politics and don’t care for the interests of farmers. They are not presenting positive points of the legislations before the farmers.”
Kumar claimed that the opposition by farmers would not impact the Bihar Assembly elections as the APMC Act was abolished in the state in 2006.
Bihar’s 89 per cent population lives in the rural areas, whereas 76 per cent is directly or indirectly dependent on the agriculture sector for livelihood.