Facing protests by various farmer unions in the state, the chief of Punjab BJP’s Kisan Morcha, Bikramjeet Singh Cheema, on Thursday said that their outfit was slow in reaching out to farmers to convey to them benefits of Centre’s agri Bills.
Speaking to The Indian Express in Ludhiana, Cheema said,” I got the copy of the ordinances on June 6 and I have read each and every line of these ordinances which are now Bills. I did not find even a single line which is against farmers, rather it is giving more options to farmers to grow and earn money. However, I admit that somewhere we got delayed in telling benefits about these ‘remarkable’ Bills and during that time, rival parties had spread misinformation about these Bills.”
He added, “Still, we have got ample time and we will be going to villages from October 1 onwards. Our kisan cell will be going in each and every village of Punjab to explain the benefits of these Bills and moreover, we can also interact with farmers in mandis as they will be going for procurement of paddy as well.”
Cheema reiterated that the Bills are no threat to the MSP regime.
“I want to clarify that the MSP and mandi procurement system will remain as it is. Farmers will have an additional choice as to whether they want to sell it to private players or not. Our public distribution system of wheat and pulses is already in place in which nearly 90 crores people are taking benefit of subsidised ration from depots, hence for that we need grains, pulses. So how can, government purchase end? We are going to buy grains from farmers only and not from private players,” he said, adding: “I am very much aware of the worries of farmers as I am also a farmer and I live in Payal village of Ludhiana. I am aware that farmers have to sell many crops below MSP at times maize and cotton can be considered as one example. In the past, farmers had suffered from MNCs who came for making juices and potato chips and hence had asked farmers to grow kinnow and potato, however they had ditched farmers due to which farmers had suffered losses. But now, everything will happen as per documentation of the central government. If a company wants a particular crop, they have to provide seeds, monitor fertilizer spray etc and later will have to buy the crop as per the rate committed before growing the crops and that too in writing. A shopkeeper can also buy pulses, grains directly from fields of farmers and even there are benefits for NRIs whose land is being cultivated on contract in India.”
Talking about the posters of boycotting BJP in many villages of Punjab, he said, “Farmers are our own. We will reach out to them, even if they are angry. Our workforce did not stop working even in states like West Bengal where our workers had been killed as well. Here in Punjab people are so loving and cordial and hence, I don’t find any difficulty in reaching out to people even if they are angry due to some misinformation.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines