MoS Kailash Choudhary urges opposition not to mislead farmers over farm laws

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Taking on the Opposition, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Kailash Choudhary on Tuesday said those who are terming the new agri laws as 'black laws' should remember that bringing the legislations was part of their manifesto.

Making an intervention during the motion of thanks on the President's address in Lok Sabha, he said the Opposition should not mislead farmers on these reformist measures.

Farmers got raw deal for the past 70 years as previous governments did nothing for them, Choudhary said.

With regard to contract farming, he said farmers are permitted to decide the rate rather than the contractor.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders for over two months against the farm laws.

They have been demanding a rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The government has offered some concessions, including keeping the new farm laws on hold for 1-1.5 years and the Supreme Court has set up a panel to look into the matter while keeping the contentious legislation in abeyance for two months.

Participating in the debate, Karti Chidambaram of the Congress said that this year's president's address was simply a mundane exercise.

'There were no soothing words for our brothers who are protesting against the new farm laws,' he said.

He alleged that inequality is rising due to implementation of faulty GST, demonetisation and unprepared lockdown.

Chidambaram alleged that India has become the world capital of internet shutdown.

He expressed hope that the Modi government will address issues which matter for most citizens.

JMM's Vijay Kumar Hansdak said that the entire country stood together during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Hansdak criticised the Modi government's proposal to divest stakes in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

'CPSEs are privatised. Will SC/STs get reservation after PSU's are privatised?' he said, alleging that the government wants to abolish reservation in jobs.

Hansdak asked if the Modi government sells all PSUs, then how will it run the country. PTI DP BKS NAB ANB ANB