The Congress said on Saturday that the Central government should shun its ego and withdraw the three ‘contentious farm laws.
In a statement, Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “One year ago, the anti-farmer Narendra Modi government had brought three black agriculture ordinances on this day, June 5, 2020. At that time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proclaimed that he was creating an opportunity for the farmers with these laws during the Covid pandemic disaster.”
Hitting out at the government, the Congress leader said, “But in reality, he (Modi) created an opportunity of annual trade of agricultural products worth Rs 25 lakh crore for his crony capitalist friends and wrote agony in the destiny of 62 crore farmers.”
He alleged that through these agricultural laws, the BJP government created opportunities for hoarding and black marketing of food grains for its capitalist friends, while the farmers had to face lathi charge, water cannons and tear gas shells.
Surjewala said that with these three ‘black’ laws, Modi wrote a ‘reward’ for his capitalist friends to buy crops at arbitrary prices and trampled the future of the farmers by writing a ‘decree’ for the end of grain markets.
“With these agricultural laws, the Modi government has wreaked havoc on the farmers in such a way that it intends to convert the farmers brothers into ‘bonded labourers’ of a few capitalists through unethical provisions of contract farming. It seems that the Modi government is still committed to return the favours of its crony capitalists, who helped it capture power in 2014,” Surjewala said.
He also said that as soon as the Modi government came to power in 2014, it tried to grab the lands of the farmers through an ordinance.
“Then in 2015, the Modi government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that the farmers can never be given cost plus 50 per cent profit as the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Then came the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in Kharif 2016, from which a few insurance companies earned a whopping profit of Rs 26,000 crore. Not only this, he waived the loans of his capitalist friends of about Rs 10 lakh crore, but declined the loan waiver to the farmers,” he said.
The Congress leader also said that the government increased the excise duty on diesel by 820 per cent and imposed taxes on agriculture.
“In the 73-year history of this country, for the first time 5 per cent GST was imposed on fertilisers, 18 per cent tax on pesticides, and 12 per cent tax on tractors and farming equipment. The government did not stop here. On June 5, 2020, it brought these three agrarian black laws to rob the livelihoods of the farmers,” he said.
Slamming the government, the Congress leader said, “Today, on the anniversary of these black laws, the Modi government should withdraw its decision and abrogate these laws immediately.”
“Otherwise, whenever these ‘cruelties and barbarities’ would be tried in the court of ‘God of democracy – the people of the country’, they will deliver such a verdict that no dictator will ever dare to repeat such a step in times to come,” Surjewala added.