Chandigarh, Oct 16 (PTI) Union minister Anurag Thakur on Friday accused the Congress-led dispensation in Punjab for “misguiding” farmers over the new farm legislations and asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh why he did not want doubling of farmers' income.
Thakur, while defending the legislations, said the Congress and some other parties were opposing the farm laws due to their “vested interests” keeping an eye on the 2022 Punjab assembly polls.
But the Modi government is committed to double farmers' income by 2022, he asserted.
“Punjab is the only state in the country where the ruling party (Congress) is trying to misguide, create confusion and mislead farmers,” Thakur said addressing a group of farm scientists in Ludhiana through virtual conference.
The Minister of State for Finance said instead of making the farmers understand (about the laws), the state government was trying to instigate them. He also accused the Congress of speaking in favour of ‘arthiyas’ (commission agents) rather than farmers.
Raising the issue of mandi tax collections, the BJP leader said the Punjab government had claimed that it would face a loss of Rs 3,500 crore.
“Does Chief Minister Amarinder Singh not want doubling of farmers' income?” he said as he accused the CM of playing politics over the mandi issue.
Thakur clarified that the mandis would continue to stay under the new farm laws and farmers have been given the option of selling their crops outside notified mandis.
He slammed the Congress for “spreading lies” about dismantling of mandi system.
“The Modi government has given Rs 2,500 crore for bringing improvement in the mandi system during the last five years,” the MoS added.
He also lashed out at the Amarinder Singh-led government for “failing” to waive off complete debt of farmers as promised before the 2017 assembly polls.
“The Congress makes false promises before polls and later backs out,” he alleged.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said before the 2017 assembly polls that they would bring amendment to the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, Thakur said.
Earlier addressing media in Ludhiana, he said the new farm laws were in no way detrimental to the interest of farmers.
PTI CHS VSD SRY