Mumbai, December 13
The NCP on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clarify on the claims of some Union ministers that the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new agri laws has the backing of Pakistan, China and Maoists.
NCP spokesman Mahesh Tapase said instead of sympathetically considering demands of the protesting farmers, Union ministers Raosaheb Danve and Piyush Goyal have made “controversial remarks to discredit the agitation”.
“Danve said the protest has the backing of Pakistan and China, while Goyal has alleged that Maoists are supporting the stir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clarify if these claims are true,” Tapase said in a statement.
He said cultivators are demanding that the new farm laws be withdrawn, but the government is unrelenting.
Goyal on Saturday said the agitation no longer remains a farmers’ movement as it has been “infiltrated by Leftist and Maoist elements” demanding the release of those put behind bars for “anti-national activities”.
This was clearly to derail agriculture reforms brought by the government, he said.
Danve a few days back stirred a controversy with his remarks that China and Pakistan were behind the protests being staged by cultivators, inviting sharp reactions from various quarters.
Farmers have been protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. — PTI