Protest not for farmers, it's meant to oppose Centre: Rupala

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Ahmedabad, Dec 18 (PTI) Union minister Parshottam Rupala on Friday alleged that the only purpose of the protest going on at Delhi borders against three farm laws is to oppose the central government and it is not meant for the welfare of farmers.

He also urged the farmers to let these agriculture laws get implemented first and then approach the government for any modifications.

'This agitation is not at all for the benefit of farmers. It is going on just to oppose the central government.

There is always a scope for making amendments in the future if farmers feel that some provision is not right. So the upfront demand to scrap the entire law at this juncture is improper,' the Minister of State for Agriculture said.

The BJP leader from Gujarat was addressing a Kisan Sammelan (farmers' convention) in Vijapur town of Mehsana district as part of the ruling BJP's campaign in the state to make people aware about the three farm laws being opposed by a section of farmers and their organisations.

'If you like the old system, then no one will stop you from selling your farm produce in the APMC. But, why do you want to stop others who want to earn more by selling outside the APMCs? 'Similarly, no one is forcing farmers to enter into a contract, let alone the misplaced apprehension that traders will grab your land after inking the contract,' Rupala added.

He urged the farmers to have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and let the farm laws get implemented first.

'Let the farm laws be there for some years. The government would make amendments if needed afterwards. We do not have any problem with it. But asking the government to respond in just yes or no is not acceptable. What is the need of Parliament if laws are scrapped just because some people do not like it,' he asked.

Farmers have been protesting against the the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. PTI PJT PD NP NP