Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said that farmers across the country stand with the new agriculture laws and that the Centre is open for discussion to address their grievances. Speaking to India TV, Chouhan accused the Congress of doing drama and alleged that the farmers in Madhya Pradesh are satisfied as they see no reason to oppose the new laws.
The MP chief minister also exuded confidence for a fruitful conclusion of farmers' talks with the Central government, scheduled for tomorrow. Demanding a full withdrawal of the legislation, the farmer union is set to hold another round of talks with the government tomorrow. This comes after the last talks between the two ended in a deadlock. Today, the farmers have given a Bharat Bandh call, backed by several Opposition parties.
"All the three farm laws are in the favour of the farmers and Opposition parties should stop playing politics on the same. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a visionary leader and keeps both short and long-term plans for the benefit of farmers," the MP chief minister said.
"Under the Narendra Modi government, farmers across the country have benefited through several schemes and reforms," Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, adding, "the Congress did not submit the list of Kisan Samman Nidhi when it was in power (in Madhya Pradesh)."
Slamming the Congress party, Chouhan said the party is opposing an act, the implementation of which was recommended through a letter written to him by Sharad Pawar, who was the union agriculture minister in 2011 in the then UPA government.
The Madhya Pradesh chief minister further read a few lines from the letter - "There is a need to amend the present APMC act on the lines of the model APMC Act 2003, in order to encourage private sector investment in marketing, infrastructure and providing competing alternate marketing channels in the overall interest of the farmers, consumers and agricultural trade."
The chief minister also said that Congress had promised in its 2019 election manifesto that the party would abrogate the Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act.
On a question on MSP, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "The prime minister and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has reiterated several times that procurement on MSP will continue."
Earlier on Monday, Shivraj Singh Chouhan had slammed the Congress, NCP and other parties over their stance on farm laws and support to the 'Bharat Bandh'.
Demanding answers from Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi, he said "You were then moving heaven and earth to implement the model APMC act. Today when these laws have been made in the interest of farmers. You are now supporting Bharat Bandh. Is this not hypocrisy? Take a U-turn at once," he said.
Hundreds of farmers have been protesting on different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws - 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.