The glaring hypocrisy of political parties on farm reforms is getting exposed day by day, as they conveniently back Bharat Bandh called by some farmer groups. It is ironic, as these very political leaders batted for agriculture sector reforms of the kind ushered in by the Modi government when they were in power, but had failed in achieving that objective. We know how Congress itself had promised to repeal APMC laws and amending the Essential Commodities Act. Joining the bandwagon of this hypocrisy now is veteran Maharashtra politician Sharad Pawar.
Sharad Pawar has backed the Bharat Bandh call which demands the rollback of farm laws that opens wide market opportunities for the farmers beyond APMCs. He is slated to visit the President of India Ramnath Kovind on this issue.
Now, go back to this Business Standard report dated 6 February 2013, when Sharad Pawar was the agriculture minister in the UPA government. What you see here is that Sharad Pawar was demanding amendment to APMC laws by the state governments to enable farmers to sell their produce in any part of the country.
Now, when the farm laws serve the same purpose without disbanding the APMC, Sharad Pawar has a problem. It is clear that his voice doesn’t reflect the concerns of farmers, and instead symbolized political opportunism.
In 2012, Sharad Pawar as Union agriculture minister had apprised the Parliament that 16 states are adopting the Model APMC Act, and the Centre is in talk with the other states.
What were the measures that this model act proposed back then? According to the report in Business Line, “the model Bill includes provisions for direct marketing and purchase of agriculture produce from farmers, contract farming and setting up of markets in private and cooperative sectors among other things.”
These are the things that recent farm laws are facilitating for farmers.
Earlier, it was Rahul Gandhi who said the exact opposite things on farm reforms. It seems, Sharad Pawar is in competitions with Rahul Gandhi to oppose the Central government with all the hypocrisy and illogic.
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