Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading farmers about farm laws and urged citizens to support the ongoing protest launched by people from the agricultural states of northern India.
Gandhi took to Twitter, saying farmers throughout the country fear that they may face hardships if the government lifts its minimum support price (MSP) guarantees following the passage of laws allowing producers to bypass Agricultural Produce Market Committees in the sale of agricultural goods.
The APMCs are marketing boards established by state governments in India, ostensibly to ensure that farmers are safeguarded from exploitation by large retailers.
"Farmers in Bihar state are facing trouble without MSP-APMC and now the PM has pushed the entire country into this mess. In such a situation, it is our duty to support the farmers of the country," Ghandhi tweeted.
He also shared a video along with his tweet which showed how the Bihar government did not purchase agricultural produce as per the MSP, leading to huge loses for farmers.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 5, 2020
Thousands of farmers are protesting on the outskirts of Delhi, demanding the withdrawal of the recently-enacted Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Farmers fear that the minimum support price will bee repealed, that state-run markets (APMC) will be finished, and that small farmers will suffer losses if they aren't able to seal an agreement with big retailers or wholesale buyers.
Farmers are set to meet government officials on Saturday; they have called for a nationwide shutdown on 8 December to demand a complete rollback of the new farm laws.