Navjot Sidhu launches fiery attack on Centre over Farm Acts, puts own govt in the dock too – Republic World


In a blistering attack over the Farm Acts on Sunday, firebrand Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged that the Centre was trying to impose USA’s failed system on Indian farmers. Addressing a rally in Moga, he claimed that the capitalists are running the country at present. Sidhu lamented that benefits provided to farmers are termed as “subsidies” while relaxations worth lakhs of rupees given to the rich are labelled “incentives”.

Maintaining that his forefathers created the Mandi infrastructure in Punjab, he predicted that farmers will have to work as labourers in the absence of mandis. Continuing his speech despite Punjab Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa requesting him to wind up his speech, Sidhu also took a dig at the Amarinder Singh-led government in the state. It is pertinent to note that this was the first occasion after months that the Congress leader participated in a party event amid his ongoing tiff with the Punjab CM.

Stressing that it is the responsibility of the Punjab government to take responsibility and provide solutions, he raised questions on the need to import pulses. Moreover, he urged the state government to give Minimum Support Price on oilseeds. At the same time, Sidhu thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for instructing the states ruled by the party to enact separate laws to bypass the Farm Acts under Article 254(2) of the Constitution. 

Navjot Singh Sidhu remarked, “The Punjab government should take responsibility. It should give solutions. The Punjab government is importing pulses worth crores of rupees for the Atta Dal scheme. Why can’t we grow them here? Why can’t we grow them here? Why can’t we give MSP on oilseeds?”

Read: Javadekar Takes ‘middlemen’ Jibe At Parties Opposing Farm Laws

Read: Punjab CM Was In Draft Panel, Favoured Farm Bills: Union Minister Exposes Congress U-turn

What are the Farm Acts?

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 aims at freeing the farmers from the constraints of the state Agriculture Produce Market Committees whereby they would be able to sell their produce anywhere. Meanwhile, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 protects and empowers farmers to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters for farm services. This entails the provision of contract farming.

On the other hand, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 specifies that the supply of foodstuffs including cereals, pulses, potato, edible oilseeds, and oils shall be regulated only under exceptional circumstances such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise, and natural calamity of a grave nature. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the farm legislation despite being petitioned by Congress, Shiv Sena, NCP, LJD, AAP, RJD, IUML, TMC, Kerala Congress(M), TRS, JD(S), CPI(M), DMK, CPI and SP. The opposition has raised concerns about the exploitation of farmers by big corporates and the applicability of the MSP.

Read: Previous Governments Lacked Courage To Effect Farm Reforms Due To Poll-focussed Mindset: PM Modi

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