Chandigarh, Sep 24 (PTI) Haryana BJP chief O P Dhankar on Thursday said the Opposition's “lies” on the Centre's farm reforms will be nailed during the upcoming crop procurement season beginning next week.
He said the procurement of kharif crops will begin in Haryana and Punjab from October 1.
“When procurement will go on smoothly, farmers will come to know the lies the Congress is spreading and realise that the reforms are for their benefit,” he said at a news conference here.
Dhankar also accused the Opposition of trying to “mislead” farmers at a time when reforms have been initiated in their “favour”.
“They told white lies that the MSP mechanism will be dismantled and the mandi system will break, both of which are untrue,” he said.
Dhankar, a former Haryana Agriculture Minister, said the farm Bills are not an alternative to the entire system but an option for some farmers to go for direct marketing.
“But they (opposition parties) are projecting as if these will become an alternate system in itself and by spreading falsehood, they are trying to build up an agitation,” said Dhankar.
He said currently a majority of farmers sell their crops in mandis at the MSP.
“In Haryana, farmers who do direct marketing are nearly one lakh, of which 82,000 are connected with farmer producer organisations while 25,000 are progressive farmers. The condition is similar in other states and the reforms now give all farmers an option for direct marketing,” he said.
Hitting out at the Congress, Dhankar said the party before the 2019 parliamentary elections had proposed the abolition of the APMC Act to make agricultural produce free from restrictions and was now changing track.
Dhankar said after the Congress-led UPA came to power, they constituted the M S Swaminathan Commission but even six years after it submitted its report, they did not implement its recommendations.
Dhankar assured farmers that the legislations are in their interest and said there will be no change in the existing MSP or 'mandi system'.
When asked that there were reports that a couple of former MLAs, who had switched over to the BJP from the INLD before the October 2019 assembly polls, have expressed some reservations, Dhankar said, “Today, they had a breakfast with me and appreciated the measures, saying these are in interests of farmers.” Dhankar said BJP workers are meeting farmers across the state to make them aware about the benefits of these reforms.
“All rules are pro-farmer. The opposition parties' claims that farmers will be exploited by big corporates are baseless as there are enough safeguards in favour of them,” he said.
Parliament has recently passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill; Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; and Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill.
The Bills are yet to get the assent of the President. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK