Dehradun, Oct 3 (PTI) Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” on Saturday said the Congress’ opposition to the farm laws has exposed its 'dual character'. Reminding the Congress of its commitment made in the party's manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to repeal the Agricultural produce market committee (APMC) Act if voted to power and set agricultural trading free from restrictions, Nishank asked what troubles the party when the farmers are being “strengthened” by the Narendra Modi government through the farm laws.
He said the party's 2019 poll manifesto clearly reads that 'Congress will repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committees Act and make trade in agricultural produce -- including exports and inter-state trade-- free from all restrictions'. 'But now when the Modi government has amended the Act to strengthen farmers, the Congress is misleading them,' he said at a press conference here.
Accusing the Congress of doing nothing for farmers despite being in power for 55 years, Nishank said now when “real steps” aimed at strengthening them are being taken by the Centre, the party is feeling uneasy.
Taking a dig at the opposition party, he said it did once announce a farm loan waiver for farmers “but that ended up in a scam”. Terming the prime minister's concern for farmers “real”, Nishank said Rs 92,000 crore has been transferred directly to the accounts of farmers across the country so far under the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.
'Rahul Gandhi had himself said in 2013 that Congress-ruled states will remove fruits and vegetables from the ambit of the APMC Act. And now his party is opposing the amendment in the APMC Act. It has exposed its dual character,' he said. The Union Education Minister said be it the farm laws or the new education policy, all of them are steps taken towards building a self-reliant India as envisioned by the prime minister.
Giving the details of the three farm laws passed by Parliament recently, Nishank said the MSP regime will continue and so will the mandis but the farmers will also have the freedom to sell their produce outside the mandis if they so liked.
Under the new farm laws, farmers will also have the freedom to withdraw from a contract with a firm if they found something wrong with it, he said, claiming that the farm laws will also help double the income of farmers by 2022. Accusing the Congress of “spreading lies and misleading” farmers about the new legislations, Nishank said if the party is sympathetic to farmers as it claims, it should explain why it did not implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission which was finally done by the Modi government PTI ALM AQS AQS