Haryana BJP, government assure farmers that MSP will not goUpdated: Sep 21, 2020, 00:14 IST
The Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assured farmers of the state that their interests would not be harmed with the passing of three agriculture bills in Parliament on Sunday. This, they said, included continuation of purchasing produce at the minimum support price (MSP).
The statement comes at a time when the party has been putting all efforts, including an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to allay fears that farmers will lose out with the passage of the bills, now awaiting the President’s assent. Farmers in Haryana and Punjab have been at the forefront of protests against the new legislations, which includes allowing farmers to sell outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committees, deregulation of farm foods and contract farming.
The state party chief OP Dhankar, also a prominent farmer leader, said that the new system would prove beneficial to farmers. Farmers will now be able to sell produce directly to the market without relying on middlemen and also find markets across the country thereby helping them get better price for their product, he said.
Dhankar was addressing a hurriedly called press conference at the PWD Guest House in Gurugram.
“The Haryana government will procure each and every grain of paddy in the coming procurement season and this will prove the lies being peddled by the opposition,” he said, adding that the state would empower farmers to engage in peri-urban agriculture and directly satisfy the needs of urban markets.
“The opposition particularly Congress is trying to create a false perception but the fact is that these same reforms were promised by it in its manifesto. The farmers will realise that they have got a great opportunity and they should take advantage of market instead of letting middlemen make all the money,” said Dhankar.
To safeguard the interest of farmers, he said, the period of contract has been limited to five years and this will ensure that farmers’ land won’t be taken over by the contractor. “Assets created by a contractor will go to the farmer if it is not removed within stipulated time.”
Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal, who was also in Gurugram said that the new laws will improve the lot of farmers significantly.
Earlier in the day, Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala from the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a coalition partner of the BJP, said that he would resign if any attempt to discontinue MSP system emerged.
Dushyant also said that the Congress supported contract farming in its vision document during its time in the Centre, and that it was now opposing it for political gains.
The Congress rejected the allegation. “The government should make it clear in writing that the MSP system would not be eliminated. It should have been mentioned in the Bills. Also, the contract farming bills takes away the right of farmers to approach the civil courts for justice, which is grossly unfair,” said Captain (retd) Ajay Singh Yadav, senior Congress and leader and former minister.