Bharatiya Janata Party National President JP Nadda on Thursday hit out at Opposition parties over their criticism of the three farm laws, saying that they did not have the courage to take bold decisions, PTI reported. He said they were supporting the protestors and accused them of politicising the crisis.
“They [the Opposition parties] do not have the political will and courage to take decisions,” he said at an event in Chennai to mark the 51st anniversary of Tamil magazine Tughlak. “It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has the will and courage to take bold decisions, but now they’re trying to politicise the issue and are supporting the people who want to agitate.”
Nadda pointed out that Opposition parties had themselves promised agricultural reforms in their manifestoes, but were now criticising the BJP government’s laws. “They themselves wrote that APMC [Agricultural Produce Marketing committees] have to go or need changes,” the BJP president said. “They mentioned that Essential Commodities Act is an age-old law that needs to be amended.”
The BJP chief said that the only objective of Opposition parties was to support the protestors. He asked the Opposition if politics was so important that matters of national concern had to be compromised, according to The Hindu.
Nadda also spoke about the Modi-led government’s “pro-people” initiatives and the saffron party’s good performance in various elections. “We had four seats in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, but now we have 48 seats,” he said. “We have consistently performed well across the country.”
The BJP chief’s remarks on agricultural laws came ahead of the ninth round of talks between the farmers and the Centre on Friday. The two sides have so far failed to break the deadlock over the new laws.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi for over 50 days against the laws now, withstanding temperatures dropping to two to three degrees Celsius.
The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.
The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. The law passed in September are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and open up the market, the government has claimed.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court put a hold on the implementation of the laws until further orders and formed a committee to resolve the deadlock between the Centre and farmers’ union. However, farmers have refused to appear before the panel, saying that all the members have supported the laws in the past.