On Thursday, the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack against the Modi Government for introducing three bills in the Parliament that are related to the farm sectors reforms in the country.
Taking to Twitter, the former Congress President, who is currently on his vacations, said that these ‘black laws’ of the Modi government are being introduced to economically exploit peasants and the agricultural labourers.
The Gandhi-scion claimed that the three bills, which aim to reform agricultural marketing in the country, is nothing but a new form of ‘Zamindari’ and some friends of Prime Minister Modi will be the ‘Zamindars’ of New India.
“Agriculture market has been reduced, food security of the country has been erased,” said Rahul Gandhi.
Interestingly, earlier this week, Rahul Gandhi had launched a similar attack against the Modi government claiming that three bills rolled out by the centre was ‘a fatal attack’ on peasant and agricultural labourers.
Farm sector and APMC reforms were part of Congress’ election manifesto
However, the Congress party’s protests against the Modi government over the issue of three agricultural reforms introduced in the Parliament has yet again exposed their hypocrisy.
In the ongoing Parliament session, the Modi government has introduced three bills – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to bring notable reforms in the farm sector.
The Congress party, which is currently opposing the bill, were once the proponents of the same reforms that are currently being introduced by the Modi government. Interestingly, in 2019, the Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi had themselves announced these reforms in their election manifesto.
In the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party had released an election manifesto, in which it was clearly stated that the Congress party if ever comes to power, would be repealing the Agricultural Produce Market Committees Act and make the trading in agricultural produce including exports and inter-state trade free from all restrictions.
Interestingly, the first two bills introduced by the Modi government – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill seeks to introduce such reform in the APMCs making it easier for the farmers to sell their farm produce just as promised by the Congress party.
According to PRS India, the first bill seeks to provide for barrier-free trade of farmers’ produce outside the markets notified under the various state agricultural produce market laws. The second bill allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers’ produce beyond the physical premises of APMC markets.
Rahul Gandhi and Congress had promised to repeal Essential Commodities Act
Similarly, in its election manifesto, the Congress party had also promised to replace the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and had claimed to bring a law that can be invoked only in the case of emergencies.
However, the Congress party seems to have a problem with the Modi government bringing such a law that would replace the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The Modi government has tabled the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The new bill empowers the central government to control the production, supply, distribution, trade, and commerce in certain commodities.
It is rather intriguing why the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been vehemently opposing the same reforms that were promised by his own party not long ago.