Shimla: Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has strongly denounced the call of opposition parties for ‘Bharat Band’ tomorrow to support the farmers’ movement. While interacting with media here today, Chief Minister said that this was not a farmers’ movement but a political agitation of opposition parties with a sole objective to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA Government.
Jai Ram Thakur said that it was strange that the same political parties who have supported the Bill were now opposing the same with an eye to gain political mileage. He said that the sole objective behind this agitation was to remain in news and misguide the farmers by raking up baseless issues.
Chief Minister said that it was the Congress Party in its election manifesto in 2009 which had categorically said that Congress would abolish the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees Act and would also abolish Essential Commodities Act and bring new laws instead of this. He said that the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his press conference on 27th December, 2013 has said that the Congress ruled States would delist fruits and vegetables under APMC Act so that their prices could be brought down. He said that the same Congress Party was now opposing the Act.
Jai Ram Thakur said that Chief of Nationalist Party Sharad Pawar while being Agriculture Minister in UPA Government had desperately tried to implement agricultural reforms. He said that Sharad Pawar had written a letter in August, 2010 and November, 2014 to Chief Ministers of the States to implement Model APMC Act and amend States APMC Act. He said that as Union Agriculture Minister in May, 2012 had openly supported the Agricultural Market Reforms but now, he had taken a U turn and was opposing the Act.
Chief Minister said that it was strange that Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Adami Party was opposing this Bill and himself supervising the whole movement had implemented this law on 23rd of November in his State. He said that Swaraj Party Chief Yogendra Yadav had also accused the NDA Government for not doing anything to implement APMC Act on completion of three years tenure of UPA Government. Now the same Yogendra Yadav was opposing the Act which was uncalled for, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the stand of Akali Dal on this Act was also uncalled for as on 12th December, 2019, the stand of Akali leaders in Standing Committee Report was different as the Akali MPs had termed APMC as centre of corruption and politics. He said that on 3rd June, 2020 when this ordinance was brought the Akalis supported the ordinance and its MP and the then Minister in NDA Government was part of this decision.
Chief Minister said that similarly Samajvadi Party had supported the report of Agriculture Standing Committee on 12 December, 2019 and even had criticized the APMC Act. He said that now the same leaders were criticizing and opposing the Act and were misguiding the farmers in a bid to tarnish the image of Central Government. He said that left parties during five years plan for 2007-2012 had suggested to remove APMC markets.
Jai Ram Thakur urged the people of the State to stay away of the ‘Bharat Band’ call as this was a handy work of rejected and dejected political parties. He said that the interests of farmers were safe in the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was committed to double the income of farmers by 2022.