BJP misleading the country by saying new agricultural laws are based recommendations made by our committee- Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda
Team Haryana First
Rohtak: Former Haryana Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda has said that the government should not adopt confrontationist attitude and should accept the demands of agitating farmers. He reiterated that the demand of farmers is completely justified and new agricultural laws cannot be in the favor of farmers without the guarantee of Minimum Support Price for crops.
Hooda, talking to reporters in Rohtak on Thursday, said BJP is trying to spread confusion about the committee formed under his leadership in the UPA government. “BJP is misleading the public by suggesting that the three new laws had been recommended by our committee. Our committee did not make any recommendations that harm the farmers,” he said.
The former Haryana Chief Minister said the committee of Chief Ministers, formed under his leadership, had recommended the extension of mandis, rather than abolishing them. “It said that there should not be any monopoly on the mandis and the mandis should be extended to every farmer. During our government, the mandis were expanded to ensure that there is a big farm produce market every 8-10 km radius in the state. Our government also gave additional land to mandis which were falling short of space, government procurement centres were built in large numbers and Agro malls were established,” he added.
Hooda said his committee had recommended the farmers to rate their crop under the C2 formula of the Swaminathan Commission. “But forget about the C2 formula, there is no mention of MSP in the new laws,” he said.
Hooda said during the UPA government there was a historic increase in MSP of crops as rates has increased up to 3 times for nearly every. “In the UPA government, there was an average increase of 12 to 15% in crop rates every year and rates of many crops were increased by more than 20% annually. It was also the recommendation of our committee that farmers should not bear the burden of loan interest and The interest rate for crop loans across the country was reduced from 12% to 4%. In Haryana, our government reduced the interest rate on crop loans,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition said that in 2010, no farmer or farmer organization had raised a finger on the recommendations made by our committee as suggestions were sought from all the farmers’ organizations and the committee made its recommendations based on their suggestions. “The purpose of that committee was to strengthen and protect the farmers. When our government framed contract farming rules, it also laid down that all farming contracts would be above the MSP, with added protection of bank guarantees. We took care of farmers’ interest at every step and this is the reason why there was no farmer movement against the government, during our entire tenure,” Hooda said.
“When the government brought new agricultural laws through the ordinance, it was describing it as a big reform in the interest of the farmers. But when the farmers studied it and started opposing it, the BJP has started saying that these were based on recommendations of the previous government. Obviously, the government is stuck in the contradictions of its own words and statements. This is the reason why farmers are no longer trusting the government. The farmers do not want a verbal assurance, they want a law guaranteeing MSP, with punishment to whoever buys less than MSP,” he said.