Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Monday claimed that those protesting the farm Bills passed by the government in Parliament had “vested interests”.
On the issue of farmers’ protests against the three agriculture-related Bills, Fadnavis, who was addressing mediapersons in Nagpur, said, “The opposition to legislations is not by farmers but by those with vested interests (dukandari chalavnaryancha virodh).
“These are pro-farmer legislations that aim to give access of the whole market across the country to farmers. Earlier, they had the option of only Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs). This was unanimously decided by a Niti Aayog task force of which I was a member. In that, former MP CM and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath had suggested further liberalisation. The Congress had these reforms in their 2019 election manifestos and now they are opposing it. I strongly condemn anti-farmer policy of the Congress,” he said.
Asked about BJP’s alliance partner Akali Dal opposing the three legislations, with Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigning on the issue from the Union Cabinet, Fadnavis said, “The Akali stand is not in the interest of farmers. The Akalis have forgotten the interest of farmers.”
“There is no going back on the MSP in any way. It will continue to apply. Opposition is misleading the farmers. We will reach out to farmers and explain to them how the three Bills are actually beneficial to them,” he said.
The BJP leader added, “The issue will not affect the BJP’s prospects in Bihar elections. In fact, it will benefit us.”
Fadnavis slammed Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana for criticising the government over the farm Bills. “They have to write something every day. Why take it seriously? And Sena has no stand on farmers’ issues. They should first formulate their stand and then say something.”
Fadnavis also expressed satisfaction over Nagpur district’s Covid preparedness. “I had a meeting today with the municipal commissioner and other officials, and I think they have adopted right strategies to manage the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.
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