Former Punjab minister Mittal defends agri ordinances, accuses Congress, AAP of misleading farmers
Ludhiana The Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday hit out at the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for criticising the Central government’s ordinances on agricultural reforms, saying they were misleading the farmers.
All the ordinances were formulated in cognizance of the Swaminathan committee report, said former Punjab Cabinet minister and BJP leader Madan Mohan Mittal.
Terming the recent statements of Congress state president Sunil Jhakhar and AAP’s Bhagwant Mann as totally “fabricated and malicious,” Mittal said the Central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to uplifting the economic status of the agriculture sector.
Mittal was visiting the BJP office near the Clock Tower to address a conference on the ordinance.
“We want to remind the Congress party that it was in power for 10 long years and Manmohan Singh did not bother to implement the Swaminathan report on agriculture,” he said.
The BJP had taken into consideration the long forgotten report and tried to come up with plans to address the plight of the agrarian sector. It was the protectionist ordinance of the Modi-led BJP government which would ensure that a farmer did not lose his “ rights of ownership” even if he had leased his land for long periods.
The National Commission on Farmers (NCF) was set up on November 18, 2004 under the chairmanship of Professor MS Swaminathan to address the nationwide calamity of farmer suicides in India.
It has submitted a number of reports with suggestions to achieve the goal of “faster and more inclusive growth.”
The government had given the farmers the right to sell their produce to the highest bidder in the market after 73 years of India’s independence. The Union agriculture minister had repeatedly gone on record to say that MSP would not be discontinued and the farmers would not have to worry that their crops would not get buyers, he said.
“Unfortunately the Congress and APP have nothing to demonstrate what they have done for the agriculture sector. They have found themselves in a desperate situation and are misleading the farmers,” Mittal added.
Giving the assurance that marketing committees would also function as before, he said: “We promise to the farmers of Punjab that BJP will stand committed to protect the agriculture of this state which has made the country food surplus.”
The state BJP would be launching an awareness drive and go to each village in the state and inform the farmers about the newly introduced farmers’ ordinance, he said.