Not consulted earlier than three agri-ordinances: BJP ally Akali Dal; govt says states have been within the loop

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 15

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday cleared the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, amid sturdy objections from Opposition MPs who termed the BJP-led Centre’s transfer “anti-farmer and pro-hoarders, pro-big traders and pro-corporates”, and a shocking declare by ally Akali Dal that it was “not consulted” earlier than the three contentious agri-Ordinances which it’s now changing with legislations.

Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal’s assertion in the course of the dialogue was laughed off by AAP’s Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann. Registering his celebration’s “strong opposition” to what he referred to as “open licence to stockholders and black marketers”, Mann mentioned: “I am surprised he (Badal) is objecting to the Ordinances while his party is enjoying the powers of the ministry in the Centre. They (Akalis) should have sacrificed the ministry if they were so against the Ordinances, which they initially called ‘kamaal ka faisla’ and also invited Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to speak in favour of.” 

Sukhbir Badal’s spouse Harsimrat Kaur is Food Processing Industries Minister within the Narendra Modi Cabinet. Badal, who sought to ascertain the credentials of the Akali Dal as a celebration representing farmers, mentioned when the federal government introduced the three Ordinances in June “his party’s representative in the Union Cabinet expressed reservations”. 

“The government said the Ordinances were for benefit of farmers. In that case, these Ordinances should not have been brought in this way…they should have been brought after discussions.  As a farmers’ party, we have always spoken for the community,” he mentioned, additionally invoking the contributions of his father Parkash Singh Badal as a farmers’ chief to press his declare. 

“Before bringing the Ordinances, parties and groups representing farmers should have been consulted. We were not asked before the Ordinances were brought in the Cabinet. Our representative in Cabinet said existing fears must be cleared. In the past two months I have talked to many farmers and arthtiyas and listened to their fears and suspicions regarding the Ordinances.”

Badal added that the three Ordinances will have an effect on farmers in Punjab and Haryana the place ‘mandi system’ exists. “I don’t know about others but our fears have not been addressed,” he mentioned, urging the federal government, of which Akali Dal is a component, to rethink. “We are not under any pressure, this is our belief that these fears should be addressed first,” he asserted. 

In his reply, Minister of State Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve mentioned the laws will assist farmers progress, encourage these related to the supply-chain and minimise processing and storage losses. “It will help in making of Atmanirbhar Bharat and ease of doing business,” he mentioned. 

The minister additionally mentioned modifications within the Act conformed with suggestions of the high-level committee of which States like Punjab and Haryana was an element. “Members are saying States were not consulted. Let me inform that before bringing the Ordinances a high-power committee of Chief Ministers was formed. The committee included States like Punjab, Odisha, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.  The CMs, after taking into consideration all issues decided such a bill should be brought,” he mentioned, including that Punjab was represented by the Agriculture Minister within the Amarinder Singh authorities.

Earlier, a number of Opposition MPs, together with Congress’ Fatehgarh Sahib MP Amar Singh insisted that the Bill will profit huge corporates and merchants. “It is another attempt at coercive federalism to benefit to MNCs so that they can enter food trade,” they mentioned. “The Ordinances are all connected, which is why farmers are protesting in Punjab and Haryana. The Punjab government and political parties have passed a resolution against Ordinances,” Amar Singh mentioned registering sturdy opposition to the laws.

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