Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 22
BJP president JP Nadda on Thursday slammed Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and those “instigating” farmers in Punjab, saying that ongoing agitation in the state is “not of farmers but middlemen”.
Farmers in Punjab are not even allowed to choose their ‘aarthiya’, the BJP president said while addressing a group farmers from the Delhi region in the party headquarters.
Nadda said it was because of monopoly of some people in the ‘mandis’ that farmers had to sell their produce at a price lower than market rate, a situation which they would now be able to change with the new agriculture Acts.
Slamming the Congress, which is leading the agitation in Punjab and has also got three counter legislations cleared from the state Assembly, Nadda said a “well-educated” person like Amarinder Singh was saying that the MSP should be mentioned in the Act whereas he knows very well that it was always implemented via an executive order.
“Amarinder Singhji MSP is always implemented through an executive order. If you were so keen to make it legal why did your party not do so for the 55 years it was in power….who stopped you from making it legal, including it in the Act,” Nadda said accusing Congress of “fueling agitation because they know nothing except politics”.
Nadda said the same party de-notified fruits and vegetables out of the APMC in 2014 and mentioned in their 2019 manifesto that they said they would make trade of agriculture produce, including exports, etc. free from all restrictions.
Reiterating the party’s oft-repeated assurance about the MSP, the BJP president said subsequent governments remained indifferent towards farmers but Prime Minister Narendra Modi changed that by implementing several pro-farmer programmes.
With the three new agricultural Acts continuing to pose a challenge, the party has tasked ministers, MPs, spokespersons and local leaders to reach out and spread the message about their benefits among farmers and general public.
A number of farmers’ leaders and organisations of BJP are also engaged in the job. Farmers of 360 villages of Delhi on Thursday presented a note of thanks to Prime Minister Modi for bringing the agricultural laws.
While general secretary Tarun Chugh is holding meetings with farmers in villages of Punjab, spokesperson Sambit Patra has also been entrusted with the responsibility of communicating with farmers’ leaders and organisations and establishing the party-line, say sources.
A liaison committee of eight members has been formed, they add.
Meanwhile, party leaders also claim that eventually the Punjab Government will have to “withdraw the counter Bills”.