Farmer Demands Not New, Trying to Save Livelihood: Yogendra Yadav
“Farmers just want a simple MSP, they are not demanding much, they just want a one price from the government”.
Days after the Parliament passed the contentious farm bills, a nationwide protest is being held on Friday, 24 September, with over two dozen farmer organisations, have announced their support to the call for the bandh.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, TMC, the Left, AAP and Samajwadi Party, have also extended support to the farmers in their protests.
“Farmers are not demanding anything new, they are trying to save their livelihood,” Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav told The Quint.
Yadav slammed the Modi government for passing the controversial farm bills and said that the farmers are protesting despite an ongoing pandemic to save their livelihood.
Talking about minimum support price (MSP), a hike in which was announced on Monday, 21 September by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Yogendra Yadav said: “farmers want a fair price, like everyone else”.
“Farmers just want a simple MSP, they are not demanding much, they just want a one price from the government,” said Yadav.
The passage of three contentious farm bills were at the centre of attention this Monsoon Session. The controversy first erupted on 17 September, when two of these bills were passed in the Lok Sabha, even as Harsimrat Kaur Badal – a member of BJP’s ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and a minister in the Modi Cabinet – resigned from the government.
“The government instead of listening to the farmers, they took the ordinance route in this pandemic, they passed three bills which the farmers never demanded, they were never consulted, neither before the pandemic nor while making the bills, now these bills are being opposed by the farmer unions,” Yadav said.
Yadav also said that the farmers are scared that the private stockist will increase and decrease the prices of the produce at their own will, and the bargaining power of farmers will lessen, hence, the consumer will be affected.
“Farmers are scared that in coming years the APMC might diminish, which would result in exploitation, the MSP which the farmers have the right to might also get cancelled in the future”.
The government should make the MSP a legal right, which means a definitive minimum price should be paid, and anything less than that will be unfair, Yadav said.
The agitation against these farm Bills, which has been going on for the last couple of days, has been especially vociferous in the states of Punjab and Haryana. On Thursday, farmers from Punjab and Haryana blocked railway tracks, forcing the cancellation of some trains on local routes.
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