A political war of wrath has broken out between the BJP and opposition parties atop the continuing farmers’ protest. The BJP has blamed NCP Chief Sharad Pawar over making a U-turn over the Agriculture Produce Market Committees.
This following government sources shared letters that Pawar had addressed to chief ministers while his tenure as Union Agriculture Minister, discussing for alike revisions to the APMC Act.
Let us explain which parties have shifted their stance over the APMC, and why did they do so?
In 2010 then Agricultural Minister, Sharad Pawar penned letters to former Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheela Dixit. He expressed the need to include the private sector in the market system to encourage growth employment and economic success.
In a similar letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, he had said the need for a private competitive market.
But momentarily as the protests remain, Pawar is asking for the complete rollback of the farm bill. The law discusses the inclusion of private players for a competitive marketplace.
BJP was quick to mount an attack on the NCP Chief Sharad Pawar.
Following the charges, the NCP has defended Pawar by maintaining his recent judgment is due to concern that Minimum Support Price (MSP), would be removed under the new law.
The Congress too has been criticised over the anomalies in its 2019 election manifestos. In the English manifesto, the Congress Party spoke about annulling the APMC Act. However, their Hindi manifesto talks about altering the same Act.
The BJP also claimed that Rahul Gandhi had told chief ministers that they should delist fruits and vegetables from the Agriculture Produce Market Committee to proffer liberated opportunities to farmers. Even the 12th Planning Commission had come out with a report in the backing of necessary reforms in the APMC system, calling the prevailing system incompetent.
Manish Tiwari, who is currently opposing the legislation, defended Congress saying that “there is no inconsistency between our support to the farmers, and what the UPA government had done earlier. There is a distinction between writing a letter to state governments to solicit their views. It is very distinct from passing laws in an unconstitutional way.”
Whether or not farmers get backing from political parties, they are strong-minded to uphold their protest. Only time will tell when this stalemate between farmers and the government will desist.