Bharat Bandh: Centre helping corporates, allege farmer leaders

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Mumbai: Amid the national shutdown against new agri laws of the Centre, farmer leaders in Maharashtra on Tuesday accused the government of favouring corporates by bringing these legislations.

Former MP from Kolhapur district and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) leader Raju Shetti said the Centre will have to withdraw these laws in view of the mounting pressure.

Earlier in the day, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna members stopped the Chennai-Ahmedabad Navjeevan Express at Malkapur station in Buldhana district while protesting against the farm laws.

“Farmers in the country have come together to oppose the new acts cleared by Parliament. The pressure is mounting and the Centre will have to withdraw these acts. The Centre is helping corporates through such acts,” Shetti told reporters.

Various farmer organisations took out protest rallies in Buldhana, Jalna and Aurangabad.

Farmer leader Raghunath Patil criticised NCP chief and former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on his stand on agricultural issues.

“Sharad Pawar always had double standards on agricultural reforms and farmers’ issues. He never backed farmers’ interests completely. He had tried to protect the corporates’ interests as well,” Patil alleged.

CPI (M)’s Ajit Navale said that farmers were left without any support system in view of the passage of the three new laws.

“Farmers are highly vulnerable to market forces as well as environmental challenges that affect agricultural production. In such situation, creation of laws would benefit corporates more than helping farmers. These laws are unwarranted and should be repealed,” he said.

The three contentious laws at the centre of the farmer protests are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (PTI)

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