The Aam Aadi Party (AAP) led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is opposing the Modi government's three farm laws. CM Kejriwal has alleged that the farm laws are not only anti-farmer but also anti-people and have been brought in to benefit some capitalists. He even held a day-long hunger strike on Monday in support of the farmers protesting against the three farm laws.
However, Kejriwal's latest stand on the farm laws differ from what his party promised in the election manifesto in 2017 for Assembly elections in Punjab. Back in 2017, the Aam Aadmi Party had in its manfesto for the Punjab Assembly elections had promised private push to agriculture markets and amending Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) to allow farmers to sell outside the state. Currently, the AAP is the principal opposition party in Punjab.
"Private push to markets: Large scale private investment in markets and processing centres in every district where farmers will see their produce, rural entrepreneurs shall get same benefits as industrial and IT start-ups," the second paragraph under title "FARMERS & FARM LABOURERS" on page number 14 of the AAP's manifesto reads.
"Best price for farmers: APMC Act shall be amended to allow farmers to sell their produce to buyers and markets of their choice in and outside the state," the thid paragraph adds.
Notably, the Arvind Kejriwal government had in November this year notified the three laws in the national capital.
BJP's IT Cell in-charge Amit Malviya slammed Arvind Kejriwal for double standards. "Arvind Kejriwal has been instigating the farmer stir. But look at his duplicity... Not only did AAP in Delhi notify the new farm laws, AAP in its 2017 Punjab manifesto had promised private push to agriculture markets and amending APMC to allow farmers to sell outside the state!" he tweeted.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are currently staying put at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in protest against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations. However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. The government argues that the three farm laws will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.