Bhubaneswar, Sep 28 (PTI) The Odisha unit of the Congress on Monday staged a demonstration near the Raj Bhavan here demanding the repeal of the farm bills passed in the Parliament recently.
President Ram Nath Kovind had on Sunday given assent to three farm reform bills -- the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The bills were earlier passed in the Parliament, triggering protests by farmers and political parties in different parts of the country.
As part of the nationwide agitation of the Congress against the farm sector reform measures, a large number of party workers and leaders including former state unit president Jayadev Jena and former MP Pradeep Majhi took part in the demonstration, accusing the Centre of adopting an 'anti-farmer policy'.
Holding placards and banners, the demonstrators gathered near the Raj Bhavan and raised slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre, vowing to intensify the agitation to seek withdrawal of the measures.
Maintaining that small and marginal farmers have voluntarily associated themselves with the protests, former PCC chief Jayadev Jena said the party will continue the agitation till the Centre withdraws the bills.
'The bills are part of a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution and destroy the farmers and agriculture to benefit a handful of crony capitalists,' Jena said.
Noting that crores of farmers and farm labourers are agitating against the bills across the country, Pradeep Majhi said the entry of corporate and capitalists in the agricultural sector is bound to cause hardship to the poor farmers and turn them into farm labourers.
Majhi claimed the farm bills will destroy the APMCs and give wide powers to corporates in deciding the prices of farm produce.
The Congress leaders also sent a memorandum to the President seeking his intervention for the repeal of the measures.
A senior Congress leader said the party will also raise the issue in the state Assembly during its monsoon session commencing on Tuesday. PTI SKN ACD ACD