Fact Check

Rahul Gandhi Opposes Rahul Gandhi On Issues of APMC, Farm Market Reform

market beyond apmc

Though we covered the politics of opposing the farm bills in our previous article Who Are Anti-farmers? Farm Bills or Those Who Are Opposing the Bills? , the glaring hypocrisy of Congress and Rahul Gandhi needs a special mention in this regard, going by the exact opposite things they say while in power and when in opposition. Of course, contradictions and issuing a statement for the sake of it is not new to Rahul Gandhi, as in the recent instance of Corona crisis. He demanded lifting of the lockdown, and when the government announced the same, he tried to shift goalposts by asking why the government wants to lift the lockdown when the virus is still spreading.

In a similar vein, Rahul Gandhi and Congress are now opposing farm bills that are already passed in the Parliament using rhetoric like “these bills are death warrant to farmers”, “the step makes farmers at the mercy of rich corporates” etc. Irony is that the Congress and Rahul Gandhi were the proponents of easing restrictions on farm market and the free movement of farmers’ produce when they were ruling through UPA. Let’s look at a few blasts from the past that expose their hypocrisy.

Rahul Gandhi Was Hailed as Reformer Then!

In December 2013, when UPA took onboard the Congress-ruled states for removing fruits and vegetables from the purview of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act, Congress was quick to credit it to the ‘visionary leadership’ of Rahul Gandhi.

Later, many opinions and analysis mentioned how Rahul Gandhi’s initiative may lead to further exploring of markets beyond APMCs. Sample this:

Now, when this government conclusively makes way for farmers to sell their produce to anyone they want, Rahul Gandhi has a problem with that!

Finding Market Beyond APMC- UPA’s Own Statements

“Farmers will be exploited by the rich traders and corporates” is the argument Congress using to oppose the avenue for farmers beyond local mandis. But while heading the UPA government, they themselves said in a reply to question in the Parliament that they are persuading states to facilitate market beyond APMC.

Congress Manifesto

Congress manifesto of 2019 has explicitly stated that they are going to repeal APMC act and also bring changes in the Essential Commodity Act. If it was an “anti-farmer”, “exploitation of farmers by rich corporates” move, why should Congress manifesto promise such things?

So, when today Rahul Gandhi opposes farm bills that aim to create more market avenues for farmers, he is opposing them. Therefore, his opposition indicates nothing but a probable “split personality”.