Farm bills: Maharashtra Congress leaders to intensify protest, leaders meet Governor

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Published on Sep 28, 2020 11:12 PM IST
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By, Mumbai

Maharashtra Congress has decided to up its ante against the three farm bills passed by the Parliament last week by intensifying protests against them. Senior party leaders met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and urged him to withdraw the bills, terming them anti-farmers.

The party has announced to observe Save Farmer-Labourers Day on October 2, hold a virtual farmer rally next week and gather signatures of over one crore farmers on the petition to oppose the newly passed law.

In the memorandum handed over to the Governor, the party has demanded the bills to be scrapped as they are anti-farmer and were passed without any discussion.

“The bills will lead farmers to the slavery and safeguard the interests of a bunch of industrialists, who are close to the BJP leaders in power. There was no discussion held within the cabinet, among the NDA partners or in the Parliament. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi had announced to double the income of farmers by 2022, but the farmers are deprived of even the minimum support price. The Central government is ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’ and do not represent poor farmers,” said party leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan after meeting the Governor. Chavan said that the governor has assured them that the matter would be discussed with the Centre.

The party in its memorandum has termed the claims made by the PM about the bills a sham. “PM has said that the farmers were free to sell their produce anywhere in the country. 86% of the farmers are marginal farmers with little holding and are not in a capacity to sell their produce outside the APMCs. The new system will deprive the farmers of the minimum support price and leave the direct and indirect employees of the AMPCs jobless. The bills are against the federal system of governance and lead to the revenue losses to the state governments. The bills will give a boost to contract farming, resulting in farmers turning into labourers in their own fields. Removal of the cap from the holding of the essential services will further compel farmers to sell their produce cheaper,” the 10-point memorandum reads.

Party will stage protests at district collectorates and in Assembly constituencies on October 2 to oppose the bills. It has resolved to gather 1 crore signatures from the farmers between October 2 and 31 to protest the bills.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders including state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat, public works minister Ashok Chavan could not be part of the delegation to Raj Bhavan as precautionary measures. The leaders distanced themselves as they had come in contact with Maharashtra unit in-charge HK Patil, who has been tested positive for Covid-19. Patil held a meeting with the leaders in Mumbai last week.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Surendra P Gangan is Senior Assistant Editor with political bureau of Hindustan Times’ Mumbai Edition. He covers state politics and Maharashtra government’s administrative stories. Reports on the developments in finances, agriculture, social sectors among others.

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