Fadnavis slams MVA’s support for rally against farm laws; cites 2006 contract farming law

Bizar Male

Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis lashed out at MVA over its support to the farmers’ rally against the agrarian laws at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Monday. Organized under the banner of Samyukt Shetkari Kamgar Morcha, this rally saw the participation of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat, Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap and other leaders from the ruling coalition. Speaking to the media, Fadnavis accused the ruling coalition in Maharashtra of misleading farmers. 

Alleging that these parties are adopting a hypocritical stance on the farm reforms, he questioned Congress on its 2019 Lok Sabha manifesto promise to end the APMCs. Moreover, he highlighted that the NCP-Congress government had amended the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act in 2006 to pave way for contract farming in the state. The Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly lamented that these parties were opposing The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 which also entails the provision of contract farming.

Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis remarked, “No agitation was held in Maharashtra despite the passage of so many days since the introduction of the farm laws. Now some parties are deliberately trying to mislead farmers. Farmers are being told the wrong things. I want to ask the parties who are backing this protest- why did Congress promise in its 2019 manifesto that it will abolish APMCs. This should be answered.”

“Congress and NCP should answer on why they enact a law approving contract farming in 2006. It has been in place in Maharashtra from 2006 to 2020. The state’s law is acceptable but the Centre’s law is not acceptable? Why this hypocrisy? During the Congress-NCP regime, 29 licenses for the direct purchase of farm produce were sanctioned for the first time. Congress-NCP took the initiative of allowing the corporates to buy farm produce outside APMCs,” he added. 

Read: Fadnavis Tries To Dissuade Anna Hazare From Undertaking Hunger Strike In Favour Of Farmers

Read: Fadnavis Demands Shifting Metro Car Shed To Aarey; Claims Foul Play In Kanjurmarg Choice

What are the three farm laws?

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 aims at freeing the farmers from the constraints of the state Agriculture Produce Market Committees whereby they would be able to sell their produce anywhere. Meanwhile, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 protects and empowers farmers to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters for farm services. This entails the provision of contract farming.

On the other hand, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 specifies that the supply of foodstuffs including cereals, pulses, potato, edible oilseeds, and oils shall be regulated only under exceptional circumstances. On January 12, a Supreme Court bench headed by CJI SA Bobde stayed the implementation of the farm laws and formed a committee to resolve the ongoing standoff between farmers and the Centre. But the protesting farm unions have refused to appear before the SC-constituted committee. 

Read: After Maharashtra Govt Downgrades His Security; Ex-CM Fadnavis Calls It A ‘political Move’

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