Chandigarh, Sep 15 (PTI) Leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday met BJP national president J P Nadda in Delhi and urged him that the Centre address farmers' concerns over three farm bills and also sought that the proposed legislation be sent to a Parliamentary committee.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, Rajya Sabha members Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Naresh Gujral and senior leader Prem Singh Chandumajra met Nadda at his residence in Delhi and discussed with him the issue of the three farm bills that were tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The SAD is an ally of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
'We have said (in the meeting) since there is a misgiving in the minds of farmers over these bills, it is important that this issue be addressed. The farmers feel this (farm bills) is anti-farmer,” Gujral told reporters.
“You people (BJP) think you have the best interest of farmers in mind, but the perception in Punjab, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan and UP is totally different. So the best way would be to send this (these bills) to the joint select committee which will then consult with all the stakeholders,” he further said.
During the meeting that lasted about 40 minutes, Gujral said irrespective of whether the farmers' concerns over these bills were well founded or not, since the Central government wants to do good for the farmers it should not be in a hurry regarding the bills that are perceived by the farmers to be against their interests.
He said the SAD has sought that the farm bills be referred to the joint select committee of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
The Centre on Monday had introduced three farm bills in Lok Sabha. These are The Farmers' Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.
The SAD, which is part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), last week had appealed to the BJP-led Centre not to present the three farm ordinances for approval in Parliament until “all reservations” expressed by farmers are 'duly addressed”.
Many farmers' outfits in Punjab have been holding protests against the three farm ordinances promulgated by the Centre.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that these three ordinances would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system and they would be at the “mercy” of big corporates. They have been demanding rollback of these ordinances. PTI CHS VSD RDM RDM