Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut took a stand against the farm bills that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeks to get passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, demanding that a special session must be called to discuss them.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, have been tabled in the Rajya Sabha after being passed in the Lok Sabha last week.
Raut asked the government whether it could assure the nation that no farmer will commit suicide and the farmers’ income will increase after the passage of the bills. “Can the government assure the country that after these agriculture reform bills are passed, farmers’ income will double and no farmer will commit suicide? A special session should be called to discuss these bills,” Raut said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured the nation on Friday that after these bills become laws, farmers will have more opportunities to sell their produce without having to worry about middlemen and that this will result in increased profits.
On September 17, the PM also told farmers that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will remain unchanged. “A lot of power is engaged in confusing the farmers. I assure my farmer brothers and sisters that the system of MSP and government procurement will remain. These bills are really going to empower the farmers by giving them many more options. #JaiKisan,” he tweeted.
“PM has said that the government is not ending the MSP system and it is just a rumour. So, did a union minister resign on the basis of a rumour?,” Raut said in his pitch against the bills in the Rajya Sabha.
He was referring to Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who had resigned as the Union minister for food processing industries earlier this week in protest against the bills. Her party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), is an old ally of the BJP.