Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday warned the central government that the farmers’ agitation will further escalate if their concerns are not addressed soon. The NCP chief is also scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9 at 5pm over the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new farm laws. Mr. Pawar will be accompanied by CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja and DMK MP T.R. Baalu. Responding to Mr Pawar, BJP leader Chandrakant Patil said that the farm bills will not be withdrawn, though the government may agree on a few changes.
Mr.Pawar said that if the Central government does not take serious notice of the ongoing protest, then this would not be limited to Delhi but people from every corner of the country would stand up in support of the farmers and resolve the problem in their own way.
Speaking with reporters on Sunday, the former union agricultural minister said that the contribution of farmers of Punjab and Haryana are in the agriculture sector is the highest in the country. “Farmers from these states not just fill our stomach but are also major contributors to India’s supply of food grains, especially rice and wheat, to more than a dozen countries. Therefore, when the farmers of Punjab and Haryana hit the road, the central government should have taken serious note of it. But unfortunately the central government is not paying attention to it.
Mr. Pawar said that it seems that the central government does not want to touch the basic issues.
“When the farm bills were being passed, we’d requested the government that they shouldn’t be passed in a hurry. They should be sent to a Select Committee and a discussion is required, but that didn’t happen and the Bill was passed in haste. Now the government is facing problems because of that haste,” former union agriculture minister said.
However, Mr Patil, the Maharashtra BJP president, said that the central government is holding a discussion with the farmers every day. The government has admitted to bring MSP on the paper. “The government is committed to MSP. Now what is the issue?,” he asked.
Mr Patil also said that the opposition had created rumours that new farm bills would wipe out the MSP. “The government will not scrap these new farm laws,” he added.
Maharashtra NCP unit president Jayant Patil said in a statement that the party workers will join Tuesday’s nation-wide shutdown in protest against passing of the agri laws by Parliament without holding discussions. “The ongoing talks between farmers and the Centre have failed due to which farmers’ organisations have given a call for a Bharat bandh on December 8. The Maharashtra NCP will support the bandh,” the NCP leader said.