Today News Online Service
Chandigarh, March 4
Days after upping his ante against his own government over alleged squandering of public money my mafias, former Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday again cornered the ruling party on the need to bring new legislations to ensure minimum support price on oilseeds and lentils to encourage farmers to get out of the wheat-rice cycle that get MSP from the Centre.
Avoiding replies on his recent statement questioning performance of his own government, Sidhu, addressing the media almost two years after he resigned from the Cabinet, said he had come to talk only on the central agriculture laws and the ways to bail out farmers of the farm crisis.
Asked why such laws were not being brought by his own government, he said he would raise the issue in the CLP meeting whenever it was called. He said he could talk remaining within the party decorum.
Sidhu said he had been raising the issue on public platform, be it mining or other issues. But the statements should be seen in right perspective, he said.
The cricketer-turned-politician said the state could very well defy the laws being forced on the state by the Centre, violating the federal rights enshrined in the Constitution.
Sidhu said there was need to support farmers in creating storage facilty to counter the corporate onslaught by the Centre. Once farmers had storage capacity, they would be in a position to negotiate the price of their crops. In this way, the farmers could be saved from the onslaught of corporates.
He said the government was spending hefty amount on purchase of cereals. “Why can’t we give MSP on this. The Haryana government is procuring oilseeds and selling oil out of that. We too can do so,” he said.
“The farmers are ready for organic farming but at least someone should come forward to support them,” he said, adding that the state should also amend the cooperative laws and allow farmers to run the same and not the bureaucrats.
Sidhu said there was need for MNREGA like minimum support income for farmers.