New Delhi: Holding the Centre responsible for the current unrest among the farmers, NCP Member Praful Patel on Thursday said had the government sent the laws to a Select Committee for wider consultation, as suggested by the Opposition, the situation would not have spiralled out of control.
His party chief Sharad Pawar never advocated the provisions of the present farm laws, Mr Patel said, but as an Agriculture Minister, he wrote letters to the state Governments seeking their opinions and sent a model Bill in 2007. But neither the opinions nor the Bill was introduced in Parliament.
‘The model law circulated by Sharad Pawar had more participation from farmers,” he stated.
Mr Patel also clarified that leaders of the ruling party have been quoting Mr Pawar under the present farm law provisions, even the Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that he was in support of the those provisions which is untrue.
Speaking on the ‘Motion of Thanks’ to the President’s Address, Mr Patel further said that the farmers’ agitation was a matter of concern for all and everybody wants the welfare of the farmers, the ‘Annadata’.
‘Had these Bills sent to the Select Committee for wider consultation, we would not be seeing this agitation on the outskirts of Delhi what we are witnessing right now’. He also denounced the incident of January 26 at Red Fort and demanded strict punishments for the culprits.
Taking the debate further, the Shiv Sena lawmaker Sanjay Raut said that if anybody dares to speak the truth or question the current dispensation, he is immediately branded as ‘anti- national’ as is obvious in case of many journalists and even parliamentarians.
“Our colleague in the House Sanjay Singh, Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharur have been facing sedition charges for speaking the truth. It seems that all sections of IPC have been replaced by the only sedition charges”.
He said that the President emphasised on ‘unity’ in his speech but why has the Government failed in seeing the unity and solidarity of the farmers against these farm laws?
‘It was a dichotomy that when a Sikh serves at the border, or serves food to the poor during lockdown, he was a nationalist and when he talks about his rights, he becomes anti-national. Attempts have been made to malign the farmers’ protests, which is being carried out with a noble intention,’ Mr Raut said.
Condemning the January 26 incident, Mr Raut said that the whole nation was saddened the happenings at the Red Fort. “Who is Deep Sandhu and his connections with the leaders of a particular party is known to everyone” he remarked.
BSP lawmaker Satish Chandra Mishra said that the trenches, barbed wires and spikes which the Government has installed against the farmers should have been done at the China border. Withdrawing the facilities of electricity, water supply and toilets were sheer violation of the human rights and they should not forget that protesters at the Delhi borders also include women.
“You are thumping your chest by just providing them Rs 500 and claimed that you are doing all good to them”, he quipped.
He also said that the farmers have lost faith in the Government as it has been on selling spree and have sold banks, oil, rail port airports to a few business houses and that was the reason they have been scared that under these laws their land holding will be sold out to them.
“Everybody know that there has been a lot of demerits in provisions these farm laws where the interests of the corporate Houses are paramount, You talk about the MSP but do not want to incorporate this with the law”,Mr Mishra said.
He also asked the Government that why they have after the farmer’s welfare when they do not want it?
Condemning the incident of January 26 , he said that our tricolour is above of everything.