Agri laws a 'disaster' for farmers: RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary
Baghpat, Mar 07: Terming the Centre''s new agriculture laws a "disaster", Rashtriya Lok Dal vice-president Jayant Chaudhary on Sunday called on farmers to "uproot" the "anti-farmer" BJP government to ensure the withdrawal of these legislations.
He asked how Prime Minister Narendra Modi can sleep peacefully when farmers across the country are agitating and upset.
"We have to unite and forget about our caste and religion for the repeal of the three farm laws. This agitation is not by any particular caste but all farmers," Chaudhary said at a ''Kisan Mahapanchayat'' at AGM Inter College here in support of the ongoing farmers'' protest against the agriculture laws enacted in September last year.
"For the repeal of these laws, it is the need of the hour to politically hurt the BJP. These laws are a disaster for farmers and such an anti-farmer government should be uprooted," he said.
"When farmers of the entire country are agitating and upset, how can the prime minister sleep peacefully?" he asked.
Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three Delhi border points -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur -- for over 100 days to press for the repeal of the agriculture laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP).
Chaudhary said the country will suffer losses if the ''mandi'' system is dismantled.
"The ''mandi'' fee was used for the development of villages. Now, this fee will go into the pocket of corporate houses," he claimed.
The RLD vice-president alleged that the government has been using various tactics to end the farmers'' agitation.
First, they labelled the farmers as Khalistanis, then there was the January 26 incident and now they are saying that this is an agitation by the Jat community, he said.
Thousands of farmers protesting the Centre''s agri laws had clashed with the police in Delhi during a tractor parade on January 26. Over 500 police personnel were injured and one protester died on that day.
Chaudhary said, "Farmers are not afraid of anything. This struggle will continue."
The government has said the new farm laws will benefit farmers by freeing them from the clutches of middlemen and ushering in new technology in the sector.
However, farmers say these laws will remove the safety net of MSP and leave them at the mercy of big corporates.
Chaudhary also hit out at the government over the rise in fuel prices and rail fare and claimed there has been a three-fold increase in the cost of other essential commodities.
"Now people want change from a government which could not work for their interest," he said.
The RLD has been holding a series of farmer meetings across Uttar Pradesh, especially in the western part of the state, to reach out to the public over a host of issues, including those faced by farmers.