A day before a ‘Bharat bandh’ announced by farmers groups and supported by most Opposition parties, the BJP on Monday upped its attack on the latter, terming their stance “double standards”. It cited their earlier support to many provisions of the new laws.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, addressing a presser at the BJP’s national headquarters, alleged that a section of farmers was caught in the grip of a few people with “vested interests” and asserted that the government was working to address their misgivings about the reforms.
Mr. Prasad read out sections from the Congress’s manifesto in the 2019 general election to note that it promised to “repeal” the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and said that Rahul Gandhi had asked the Congress-ruled States in 2013 to take measures to allow farmers to sell their produce directly.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar, who was the agriculture minister in the UPA government, had asked the States to amend the APMC Act and even warned them that the Centre would not provide financial assistance in absence of three reforms, Mr. Prasad said.
“When the Modi government enacted these provisions, all these parties are now opposing them. This exposes their “shameful double standards”, he stated.
Farmer unions have been protesting on Delhi’s borders for 11 days demanding the repeal of the new agri-marketing laws.