The Congress party, after fueling the protests by Punjab farmers for weeks, has now supported the Bharat Bandh call given by some farmer unions and activists for December 8. Continuing their propaganda against the Union government and to mislead the farmers, the party has shared some blatant and outright lies against the new farmer laws.
Our farmers have a right to life of dignity & this govt is trying to strip them of that. This is why our farmers are protesting & this is why we must support them.#किसानों_के_संग_भारत_बंद pic.twitter.com/uysqvndrnL— Congress (@INCIndia) December 7, 2020
In its tweet, the Congress has claimed that they are supporting the agitation against the new farmer laws, because the new laws mean that:
- Mandis will be abolished.
- Minimum Support Price (MSP) will be abolished
- Farmers will have no bargaining power
- Farmers vulnerable to exploitation by corporates
- Lakhs of Mandi workers will be unemployed
- Rising debt
However, all the reasons given by the Congress against the new farm laws are outright lies.
Mandis will remain, MSP will be unaffected: Modi government
The central government has clarified a number of times that they are neither abolishing Mandis not repealing MSPs. Both the claims are lies. In fact, the Congress, in its own 2019 election manifesto, had promised to abolish the APMC Act altogether. However, the Modi government has only amended the APMC Act.
Modi government has not repealed the APMC Act in its entirety. The new laws passed by the current dispensation provides the farmers with an additional avenue to sell their produce besides the state-run Mandis. The provisions in the bills exempt transactions done outside the physical premises of APMC (agricultural produce market committee) Mandis from any “market fee or cess or levy” imposed by state governments.
PM Modi, government ministers and BJP leaders have asserted again and again that MSPs will continue. Rahul Gandhi and Congress, however, have been peddling the same lies again and again.
मैं पहले भी कहा चुका हूं और एक बार फिर कहता हूं:— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 20, 2020
MSP की व्यवस्था जारी रहेगी।
सरकारी खरीद जारी रहेगी।
हम यहां अपने किसानों की सेवा के लिए हैं। हम अन्नदाताओं की सहायता के लिए हरसंभव प्रयास करेंगे और उनकी आने वाली पीढ़ियों के लिए बेहतर जीवन सुनिश्चित करेंगे।
As the government is neither abolishing Mandis nor taking back the MSPs, the claims about Mandi workers being jobless and MSPs being repealed are thus completely false.
In fact, the Congress is opposing the very same reforms that it has been promising to the farmers over the years.
More freedom to farmers, to sell anywhere, with legal provisions to protect farmer’s interests
The opposition, especially Congress, has also been spreading lies that the new laws will enable corporates to take over farmers’ lands. This is another outright lie. As has been explained by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gujjar, one of the acts clearly states that “sale, lease or mortgage of farmers’ land is prohibited”. Contracts can be made on crops, not on land. And even in these contracts, the farmer is not bound. The new laws allow even medium farmers to sell their produce to a company or individual. The new laws ensure that the farmer gets a guaranteed price for the produce, along with technology and machinery.
The claims that farmers can be vulnerable to exploitation are false too because the new laws enable the farmer to leave the contract, without any penalty. The new laws enable farmers to be free from the clutches of local APMCs and sell their product to any person, company or organisation anywhere in India.
You can read all the details about the three new farmer laws here.