Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday advocated amendments in the problematic portions of the three farm laws, asserting that there is no need to reject them in their entirety.
The NCP supremo said that the contentious parts of the farm bills that are causing grievances to the farmers can be dropped instead of scrapping the laws altogether.
“Instead of rejecting the entire bill, we can demand amendment in the part about which the farmers have an objection,” Sharad Pawar said while weighing on his views about the farm laws at a private university program in Mumbai on Thursday.
Pawar also spoke about the Maharashtra government’s legislation against the three farm laws. He said it is unlikely that the government would pass legislation against farm laws in the monsoon session.
Recently, Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Thorat had said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government will table a bill in the upcoming monsoon session on July 5 to protect the interests of farmers.
Reacting to this, Pawar said it is improbable that a resolution against the Centre’s agricultural laws will be adopted during the 2-day monsoon session. He however noted that a group of ministers from the MVA government was studying different aspects of the Centre’s bill.
Pawar’s latest stance advocating amendment of problematic portions in the farm laws is in sharp contrast to his previously held views. In February this year, Mr Pawar’s party had demanded a complete rollback of the three agriculture laws. A month before that, in January 2021, Pawar had himself criticised the laws in a series of tweets, alleging that they will adversely affect the minimum support price (MSP) and undermine the country’s mandi system.
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar welcomes Sharad Pawar’s changed stance on farm laws
Nevertheless, Pawar’s manifest change of opinion on farm laws was welcomed by the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
“I welcome this statement of the former agriculture minister. I’d like to tell him that the Central government agrees with him. We have discussed this with the farmer union eleven times,” Mr Tomar told ANI today.
#WATCH | Agri Minister NS Tomar welcomes the stand of NCP chief Sharad Pawar on the farm laws that they shouldn’t be rejected but problematic portions can be amended. He says that this has been the Govt’s stand & Govt has been having a dialogue with farmers with this mindset only pic.twitter.com/HCJoqe4kQv— ANI (@ANI) July 2, 2021
“The central government hopes this matter will be resolved through discussions and this agitation ends and all farmers return to their homes. The government of India is willing to reconsider with an open mind the issues that seem problematic,” he further added.