Defending the three new agriculture laws brought by the Centre, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said these “revolutionary” legislations were aimed at providing freedom to farmers to sell their produce wherever they want.
The former Maharashtra chief minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always stood behind the country’s farmers and would continue to do so in future.
Fadnavis also accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of fooling the farmers through false promises.
“Farmers, who sell their produce at the market yards, have to pay transport, labour, weighing and other charges. For example, a farmer recently sold his produce worth Rs 15,000 in Pune’s market yard. Of the Rs 15,000, he paid Rs 4,000 as transport, labour charges and weighing charges. This is injustice,” he said while showing the payment receipt.
Fadnavis was addressing a farmers’ congregation in Pune before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s event in Delhi, in which he released Rs 18,000 crore to more than nine crore farmers and interacted with a section of them.
“These revolutionary agriculture laws were brought to provide freedom to farmers to sell their produce wherever they want… The prime minister has always stood behind the farmers of the country and he will continue to do so in future also,” the Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly said.
Fadnavis said that after the Centre de-regularised fruit-trading, mango producers from the Konkan region were benefited during the lockdown as they could sell the produce by going directly to the housing societies.
He alleged that some people had double standards on the new agriculture laws.
“In 2006, the Maharashtra government brought a law regarding contract farming. So the law related to contract farming brought by Modiji was introduced in Maharashtra in 2006. From 2006 till date, there is not a single case in which someone’s farm has been usurped due to the contract farming,” he added.
“In the present law brought by Modiji, if there is any dispute between the farmer and the trader, the farmer can approach a court. In the 2006 law of Maharashtra, there is no such provision,” he added.
Hitting out at the MVA government, Fadnavis said the farmers in the state were being ignored.
“We stood behind the farmers during our rule. We provided monetary help to them in the event of rains and other calamities. But unfortunately, nobody from the state government is ready to look into the farmers’ issues today,” he added.
He said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray promised Rs 50,000 help to farmers per hectare loss.
“Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar went one step ahead as he insisted on providing Rs 1.5 lakh per hectare assistance to each farmer for the crop losses. But beyond Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000, nothing was given to each affected farmers,” he said.
Farmers were fooled by the state government through false promises, he said.
While addressing another congregation of farmers here, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has identified problems of the farmers.
Therefore, he has launched various schemes for farmers including water supply, insurance, soil health care, and pension.”
The BJP had organised a mega exercise to reach out to farmers by having its leaders interact with the farming community at more than 19,000 venues across the country and also listen to the prime minister’s address.