This Article is From Dec 08, 2020

Ahead Of Today's Strike, BJP's All-Out Attack On Opposition: 10 Points

The Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party were in favour of privatisation of the agri sector when in power, Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Farmers have called for a 'Bharat Bandh' today (File photo)

New Delhi: The BJP lined up ministers from the Centre and states on Monday and started a concerted attack on the opposition on the eve of the all-India strike called by farmers, which is supported by trade and transport unions and most non-BJP parties. The party is claiming that the massive protest -- which started in Punjab and Haryana and is threatening to engulf the country -- has been a result of opposition mechanizations. Several rounds of talks between the Centre and the agitating farmers have failed. The next one is scheduled on December 9. While the government is considering amendments in the contentious farm laws, the farmers have refused to accept anything less than total deletion.

Here is your 10-point cheat sheet to this big story:

  1. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said the Congress, when it was in power, had been aiming to make the very same changes in the farm sector, but is now opposing the Centre's reforms for political reasons.

  2. The Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party were in favour of privatisation of the agri sector when in power, Mr Prasad said. The repeal of the APMC Act was part of the 2019 manifesto of the Congress. Contract farming also started during the Manmohan Singh government in many Congress states, the minister added.

  3. NCP chief Sharad Pawar - agriculture minister in the UPA government - said in an interview that the APMC Act would be gone in six months. It was also during the UPA rule, that the Planning Commission had suggested that the Central government may enact inter-state agriculture trade act, Mr Prasad added.

  4. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, attacked the Congress and the NCP -- which now rule Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena -- on the same lines. "In Pawar's biography, he says farmers can be and should be able to sell anywhere... Pawar was never against the laws. He had always said more discussion had to take place. That's because he himself had laid down the rules," Mr Fadnavis said.

  5. Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, Mr Fadnavis said, is part of this opposition but Delhi government was the first to clear the farm laws. "Akali Dal had taken a stand in the standing committee in December 2019 that APMC is not working in favour of farmers... Shiv Sena had supported us when fruits and vegetables were denotified. Other parties -- TMC, DMK and the Left are also being hypocritical," Mr Fadnavis said.

  6. "Only Punjab farmers are protesting (against the farm laws). So I feel the parties supporting the all-India strike call are doing so just to oppose the Modi government," Mr Fadnavis added.

  7. The Congress, Sharad Pawar's NCP, Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and several Left groups have backed tomorrow's strike call. In the south the strike has the support of Tamil Nadu's DMK and Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi and in Jammu and Kashmir, of the People's Alliance. In Delhi, AAP will hold a symbolic protest in favour of farmers. Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress said it will extend "moral support" to farmers and stage sit-ins across the state for three days.

  8. In a statement of support for the strike on Sunday, the opposition parties said: "These new agri-laws passed in the Parliament in a brazen (and) anti-democratic manner (by) preventing a structured discussion and voting, threaten India's food security, destroy Indian agriculture and our farmers, lay the basis for the abolishment of MSP and mortgage Indian agriculture and our markets to the caprices of multi-national agri-business corporates."

  9. Thousands of farmers, who have assembled at the borders of Delhi to thrash out the matter with the Centre, have said that they will completely block the entries to the national capital to ratchet up the pressure on the Centre. Only the emergency services will be allowed.

  10. The government has offered to amend the farm laws, but has remained firm on not scrapping the legislations. The farmers have refused offers of amendments and say they will not end their protest till all three laws are history. A fresh proposal from the Cente is expected during Wednesday's meeting -- the sixth since the protests started in September.

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