Rahul sides with Punjab farmers over farm laws

New Delhi: Congress leader Raul Gandhi on Monday renewed his attack on the Modi government over the three farm laws recently passed by Parliament.

In a tweet, Rahul asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the farmers and listen to their grievances.

His tweet comes a day after farmer unions in Punjab marked Dussehra by burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and business tycoons.

“This happened all over Punjab yesterday. It’s sad that Punjab is feeling such anger towards PM,” Rahul tweeted while referring to a media report that farmers on Sunday burnt effigies of PM Modi at several places in Punjab to lodge their protest against the farm laws.

“This is a very dangerous precedent and is bad for our country. The PM should reach out, listen and give a healing touch quickly,” Rahul suggested.

Farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee burnt effigies of PM Modi and business tycoons. The protesters described the three farm laws as ‘black laws’ and raised slogans against the Modi government. They demanded the withdrawal of the laws.

“Farmers burnt effigies of the PM and Union government at several places in the state,” Jagmohan Singh, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) general secretary, said.

The opposition parties, including the Congress, have been arguing that the Modi government’s three bills — The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are aimed at handing over the farming sector to corporates and that farmers will not get the benefit of the MSP.

But the government maintains that the bills give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). This is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels. Farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for the sale of their produces under the act. Besides, farmers will get the right to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price. It seeks to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from farmers to sponsors.