Manipur: Congress leader points fingers at Farm Bills, 2020

Imphal, Sept 24-2020: There is nothing in 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 which can protect the interest of farmers, according to AICC Manipur in-charge Charan Das.

Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan here today, Charan Das said that the backbone of the country’s economy which has a total population of about 130 crore is agriculture.

There are more that 150 farmers-based organisations in addition to a number of agricultural universities and agricultural institutions, he said.

According to the AICC leader, the three Bills were passed in a draconian manner without consulting the farmers or the agricultural institutions.

Instead of allowing Members of the Parliament to debate the contents, the Bills were passed hastily in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Charan Das said.

Agriculture’s contribution in the country’s GDP was quite substantial when Congress party was in power at the Centre.

In order to develop agriculture and protect the interest of farmers, the Planning Commission made plans for five-year terms.

As a result, around 62 crore people were able to earn their livelihood from agriculture produces and market system, he claimed.

Instead of waiving off loans owed to farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been waiving off loans indebted to wealthy people, he said.

Limited number of corporate houses and their agents have taken control of the traditional source of cultivation as well as the agricultural market system, he continued.

All the people of the country including farmers need to raise a strong voice of objection against such anti-farmer policies of the incumbent Central Government, Charan Das said.

He said that the Congress party would not remain a mute spectator to the many anti-people activities of the BJP-led NDA Government and their attempts to befool the masses like sudden demonetisation in a single night, destruction of all traditional sources of income, the bold but empty claim to bring back black money, utilisation of funds deposited in the RBI for emergency purposes etc.

Saying that the Congress manifesto contains many proposals and promises to protect farmers, the AICC leader claimed that the party’s manifesto envisaged to make each and every village market centre for farmers.

Congress party would launch different modes of agitation across the country from today in order to bring the much needed change.

Coinciding with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, mass rallies would be held across the country on October 2. This would be followed by an extensive signature campaign, he said.

CLP leader O Ibobi who was also present at the press meet warned that the people of Manipur should be prepared for a crunched economic situation in 2021.”I am not saying this out of my imagination just to create a panicky situation among the masses.

Well known economists and experts have already warned that economic mismanagement and misplaced policies would push India among the poorest countries of the world.

Experts are also warning that the country’s GDP would be -32 per cent by next year,” Ibobi said.

When the UPA was in power, a proposal was made at a meeting of the National Development Council to introduce GST but the same proposal was dropped due to strong objections raised by BJP.

Yet, they wasted no time in introducing the same taxation system as soon as they came to power but the BJP-led Government is unable to manage GST properly, said the CLP leader.

To deflect public attention away from such issues like GST, demonetisation, anti-farmer Bills, economic downfall etc, BJP has been churning out volumes of false propaganda in addition to ruling the country in the form of dictatorship, Ibobi said.

Recalling that Union Minister of Highways and Road Transport came to Manipur in November-December 2016 and laid foundation stones for projects amounting to Rs 22,000 crore at the first MR campus, Ibobi asked what has happened to those projects.

Recently, Nitin Gadkari laid foundation stones for several projects of total cost Rs 3000 crore just for name’s sake.

People should be wary of such foul tactics, he added.