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21 Oct 2020, 10:12 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • BJP leaders slam DMK chief Stalin for criticising farm bills

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0:38 HRS IST

Chennai, Sep 25 (PTI) Senior Tamil Nadu BJP leaders

including former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Friday flayed the DMK for criticising the Centre's farm bills adopted by Parliament recently, wondering what more than Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance on MSP was required.

Another leader, H Raja, took a dig at DMK president M K Stalin on his "basic knowledge on agriculture will suffice" remark.

DMK has strongly opposed the three bills, saying they will lead to farmers being "enslaved" to corporte houses.

The party and its allies will stage state-wide protests against the bills on Monday.

Lashing out at the opposition parties for their scheduled protests, Radhakrishnan accused the DMK and Congress of "attempting to derail development."

"The Congress could not deliver upon its promise to farmers while its ally the DMK needlessly opposes the farmer-friendly legislations," Radhakrishnan told PTI.

He claimed only the DMK in Tamil Nadu and the Congress-ruled states were opposed to the three Bills on agriculture reforms.

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 were introduced in the Parliament on September 14 to replace the ordinances issued during the lockdown.

Radhakrishnan further said the Prime Minster has already assured that the MSP will be ensured.

"What more does the DMK and Congress want than the Prime Minister's assurance on MSP " he asked.

Modi had earlier asserted that the farm sector reform bills passed by Parliament were the need of 21st century India and reassured farmers that the government purchase of their produce coupled with minimum support price (MSP) mechanism will continue.

On the DMK leader pointing to Punjab and north Indian states opposing the legislations, Radhakrishnan shot back, "who is ruling Punjab," where the Congress is in power.

These legislations, the former minister argued, were brought by the Modi government as part of the PM's vision to double farmers' income by 2022.

"These are central to farmer's welfare and would reduce agrarian distress and bring parity between income of farmers and those working in non-agriculture professions," Radhakrishnan said.

H Raja, another senior leader, pointed out Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said farmers will be freed from the restrictions of having to sell their produce at designated places only, and the procurement at MSP will continue and mandis established under state laws will also continue to operate.

Referring to Stalin's remark that one need not be a farmer to comment on the bills but basic knowledge on agriculture and concern for farmers will suffice, Raja stated it only reminded him of the parable of "five visually impaired men who describe an elephant."

During the course of exchange of words on the matter, Chief Minister K Palaniswami had remarked that the DMK leader lacked knowledge on agriculture and hence his opposition to the bills.

Unlike Stalin, he was a farmer, the chief minister had said recently.

Retorting, the DMK chief had said one need not be a farmer to express opinion on the bills but basic knowledge on agriculture and concern for farmers would suffice.

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