‘This isn’t a movement by farmers’ (Opinion)

By Kailash Vijayvargiya
New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) In the name of opposing the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020, the people who have come to Delhi are saying that ‘Indira ko thok diya tha, Modi ko bhi thok denge.’ The only objective of those who are involved or supporting the agitation in the garb of farmers movement is to oppose the central government, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Some of the so-called agitators are also instigating farmers who used to go to Shaheen Bagh to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. Surprisingly, despite the pro-Khalistan slogans about Indira Gandhi, the leaders of the Congress and other parties are keeping quiet on the objectionable rants of the so-called farmers. Does the Congress have no objection to ‘Indira ko thok diya tha’?

Various media reports indicate that the people agitating in Punjab are being fully backed by the Congress government in the state. Ration is being provided to the agitators. The Northern Railway had to suffer a revenue loss of Rs 891 crore till last week due to the agitation against agriculture bills. Indian Railways has also incurred a loss of Rs. 2220 crores.

The agitation was abolished by farmers’ organisations after the central government’s clarification on the questions raised on the agriculture bills and continuation of MSP. Various media reports say there is a big conspiracy behind the agitation. Food is being distributed to the people at mosques. People like Nazir Mohammad, who was involved in Shaheen Bagh, are roaming around wearing turbans. The elderly lady Momina from Shaheen Bagh, is also roaming around as a farmer. These are just a few examples. Like Shaheen Bagh and the Delhi riots, the truth behind such an agitation will also come out before to the public after the conspiracy is exposed.

The kind of mistake that Indira Gandhi had made by encouraging Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is again being made by the Congress government in Punjab led by Amarinder Singh. The activities of Khalistan supporters are increasing during the Amarinder regime. It was even being discussed that some people could try to unfurl Khalistani flags in Delhi. People are already suffering due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. All business has been affected. The number of people dying from Corona in Delhi is increasing. Union Home Minister Amit Shah himself had to hold a meeting about the deteriorating condition of the pandemic outbreak in Delhi. Para-military forces had to be deployed in light of the shortage of doctors. In the guise of opposition to the agriculture bills, people who have come to the Capital with intention of camping in Delhi will only aggravate the agony of Coronavirus.

Why are the agriculture bills facing the maximum opposition in Punjab? Because the government is preparing people for the agitation. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi led the agitation by sitting on a sofa placed on a tractor in Punjab. It is worth noting that last year, 80 per cent of paddy and 70 per cent of wheat were from Punjab and Haryana were procured by the government.

The BJP is the only party that thinks about the interests of farmers. Other parties have just used farmers for politics. The central government is sending money to the farmers’ accounts. Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly said that our goal is to double the income of farmers. The agricultural reforms will provide new opportunities to farmers to sell their produce. This will increase their profitability. Farmers will get the benefit of modern technology and emerge stronger. Because of these bills, with the role of middlemen being eliminated, the so-called farmer leaders who acted as brokers have been the worst hit.

MSP has nothing to do with these Agriculture Bills. Confusion is being spread among the farmers that MSP will be abolished. Just as the Citizenship Amendment Act has nothing to do with the citizens of this country, MSP has nothing to do with the farm bills. The politics of spreading confusion by opposition parties won’t last long.

(The writer is National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Views expressed are personal)

–IANS
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