DESCRIBING THE three new farm laws as a “disaster” for farmers, former Union minister and national president of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Ajit Singh on Tuesday said his party will hold protests at district headquarters across Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
“By bringing the new farm laws, the government wants to hand over the trade in farm produce to big capitalists… This will be a disaster for the farmers. Our party opposes these laws. We will hold protests against these laws at district headquarters in UP on Wednesday,” Singh told The Indian Express over phone.
“They have practically ended MSP in some states. For instance, (APMC) mandis were dismantled by the Nitish Kumar Government in Bihar in 2006. There is no MSP-based procurement in the state. In UP also, MSP-based procurement is not taking place properly,” said Singh, who served as Agriculture Minister in the Vajpayee-led NDA government between 2001 and 2003.
He said MSP of paddy in UP is around Rs 1,900 per quintal but in the absence of proper procurement, farmers are forced to sell their crop at around Rs 1,100 per quintal.
When asked why western UP farmers are not protesting against the three farm laws while those in Punjab have been protesting since the promulgation of the ordinances in June, Singh said, “Punjab has a well-established network of (APMC) mandis. For every 4-5 villages, there is a mandi. However, western UP does not have such a network. This is the reason that farmers are not so organised in this part of the country.”
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