New Delhi : Accusing the Congress and other opposition parties of “utter duplicity”, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed them for their stand on Central farm laws stating that they are opposing the Narendra Modi government just for the sake of opposition.
Addressing a press conference on the issue of farmers’ protest, Union Minister Prasad said “Opposition parties are opposing the Narendra Modi government for the sake of opposition, forgetting their own work in the past. In its 2019 poll manifesto, Congress promised to repeal APMC Act and make the trade of agriculture produce including export free from all restrictions.”
“Opposition parties have jumped into the issue of new farm laws. During UPA rule, they did exactly what the Modi government is doing today for reforms in the farm sector. Now that they’re losing polls, they take part in any protest for the sake of their existence,” he said.
Targeting the Congress, Prasad said that “Despite the farmers union’s request against the entry of political parties in the protest, the Congress kept trying to become a part of the agitation. All of this just to get a chance to oppose the Modi government.”
“…not only on the issue of farmers’ protest but they are keen to join every kind of protest be it anti-CAA protests or Shaheen Bagh. Forgetting their own work in the past, the opposition is indulging in such tactics,” the BJP leader said.
Referring to the Congress the manifesto of 2019, BJP leader said, “Congress promised to repeal the Agriculture Produce Market Committee act and make the trade-in agriculture and produce including export and interstate trade free from all restriction.”
Further accusing NCP chief Sharad Pawar of taking a u-turn on agriculture reforms, the Union Minister said that “Pawar is also opposing the new farm laws. But when he was the Agriculture Minister, he wrote to all Chief Minister for ‘private sector participation’ in market infrastructure.”
“I am giving you proper documentary evidence to show the utter duplicity of the opposition of parties,” he added.
Furthermore, he also made reference to Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav and Shiromani Akali Dal, and activist Yogendra Yadav for supporting reforms in the agriculture sector on various points.
Farmers’ leaders have held several rounds of talks with the government but all of them remained inconclusive so far. After the fifth round of talks, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has called another meeting on December 9.
Meanwhile, a nationwide shutdown has been called by the protesting farmers on December 8.
Opposition parties, including Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP), All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), Shiv Sena and National Congress Party (NCP) also supported the call for ‘Bharat bandh’.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which left the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to protest against farm laws, has also announced to lend its support to Bharat Bandh.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has also announced that her party will support the “Bharat bandh”.