Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut defended the head of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Sharad Pawar, on Sunday for actively pressuring states to amend the APMC Act when he was the Union agriculture minister under the UPA rule. -2. Raut said Pawar’s intentions were aligned with the well-being of farmers and claimed that in 2010, companies hadn’t gotten into farming in a big way.
Raut, in his weekly column RokhThok in the Sena Saamana spokesperson, commented on the controversial farm laws passed by the Center that have sparked ongoing farmers’ protest on the Delhi borders along Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Raut described the three laws, announced by the Center as key reforms in the agricultural sector, as “dark” laws that will turn “farms into graveyards” and spell the “death” of farmers.
Pawar, while serving as the Union agriculture minister at the UPA dispensation, wrote to several senior ministers of the states seeking an amendment to the APMC Act, facilitating the entry of the private sector. BJP, which has been claiming that opposition parties were involved in political shenanigans and deceiving farmers by stoking their protest, used Pawar’s letter in support of their claim and criticized the NCP’s support for the farmers’ protest.
Raut, in his column published Sunday, defended Pawar, saying: “Ten years ago when Sharad Pawar sought reforms in the agricultural sector it was in the interest of farmers. So Ambani-Adani had not entered this field. The expansion of corporations in the field [of agri-marketing] it emerged in the last six years ”.
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The article further alleged that the BJP is spreading rumors that the farmers’ protest does not reflect the mood of the nation’s farmers. However, the “successful” Bharat Bandh called by the farmers had disproved the theory.
“The three laws will turn farms into graveyards and will spell death for farmers,” Raut wrote.
He warned that if agriculture collapses, the economy will collapse. “Ministers come and go, but if farms are destroyed, the country will suffer. A communist country like China and a capitalist country like the United States take care of their farmers, so why the indifference of the Indian government ”, he asked in the column.