Jaipur, Sep 21 (PTI) The Congress held protests across Rajasthan on Monday against the contentious farm bills passed in Parliament and submitted memorandums to the district collectors.
As many as 247 grain mandis in the state remained closed in protest against the bills, which after being passed in both houses of Parliament will now go to the President for his assent before they are notified as laws.
A Congress delegation led by the party's state unit president Govind Singh Dotasra submitted a memorandum to the Jaipur district collector. The memorandum is addressed to Governor Kalraj Mishra.
'The Centre brought the anti-farmer bills in a hurry. The government neither discussed the bills with officials nor any opposition parties. But the Congress party will not allow injustice with the farmers,' Dotasra told reporters.
With the passage of the bills, farmers will become labourers and big companies will take over their land and produce. Hoarding will be encouraged through the new law, he alleged.
'People are fed up with demonetisation and GST and failures of the Center in the last six months. As many as 2.25 crore people lost their jobs due to the COVID-19. Now they (BJP-ruled Centre) are working to suppress the voice of farmers by bringing black laws,' the Rajasthan Congress chief claimed.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, seeks to give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). This, the government says, is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
Farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce under this Act, according to the government.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, seeks to give farmers the right to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.
It seeks to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from farmers to sponsors.
Congress leader Harish Chaudhary accused the Centre of deteriorating the condition of farmers and said that under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the party will fight for the farmers.
Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said, 'Parties have lost power whenever they attacked farmers. The Centre can get the bills passed in Parliament but cannot win the hearts of farmers.' 'It is the responsibility of a government to make sure that no such this is done during a pandemic against which people have to protest,' he said.
But, by passing such bills during the pandemic, the Narendra Modi government has made it clear that COVID-19 deaths have 'no meaning to it', Khachariyawas alleged, adding that farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan have taken to the roads, and the Centre will be responsible if COVID-19 infection spreads. PTI AG NSD NSD