Amid protest by Oppn, President Ram Nath Kovind gives assent to farm bills
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave his assent to the three farm bills -- farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 -- that were passed in the Parliament last week.
The three farm bills were in the Parliament in this Monsoon Session amid huge ruckus by the opposition. The Congress-led opposition targeted the central government over the bills and said that they would "kill the farmers and make them a commodity". The opposition also claimed that the government is trying to do away the minimum support price (MSP) with the farm bills.
The Shiromani Akali Dal, which was the BJP's oldest ally, also questioned the Centre over the farm bills, urging it to reconsider them. Later, the Akali Dal announced its decision to pull out of the NDA, saying it will always stand with the farmers.
The BJP, however, alleged that the opposition is misleading the farmers and said that the agricultural bills will change the lives of the farmers, calling them "need of 21st century India". The central government said that the farm bills will "empower the farmers to freely trade their produce anywhere" and clarified that they are not against the agricultural mandis.
Amid widespread protests over the bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also repeatedly said that the farm bills will allow the farmers to sell their produce anywhere they want at a better price and has accused the opposition of misleading them.
"Now they have got freedom to sell not only fruits and vegetables but whatever they produce; paddy, wheat, mustard, sugarcane, anywhere they get a better price," PM Modi said in his latest episode of his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat.
The government has also slammed the opposition over its behaviour on farm bills in the Parliament and alleged that the controvery over agricultural bills is "purely political in nature".
"Discussions were held in both the Houses, they did not speak even once on the Bill. The treasury benches welcomed it, but the Opposition said they wanted MSP, APMC should be ended, the farmers are doing such and such things. That is why I too gave a political reply in the Rajya Sabha," said Union Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in an interview to news agency ANI.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma