BJP president JP Nadda said on Thursday that middlemen and not farmers are behind the agitation against farm laws in Punjab while asserting that the Narendra Modi government has freed peasants from the "slavery" of selling their produce to predesignated markets and traders.
Addressing a group of farmers from Delhi and nearby villages at the BJP headquarters, Mr Nadda also took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi saying had the Congress leader been a well-wisher of farmers, he would be thanking the prime minister.
He said the three laws enacted by the Centre have many measures that the Congress had promised in its manifesto, adding the prime minister has done what Mr Gandhi had been advocating.
"It is never clear if Rahul Gandhi speaks himself or he is made to speak. Are you a well-wisher of farmers or of the middlemen who only harass peasants," Mr Nadda said.
The BJP had organised the programme for farmer representatives to thank PM Modi for the farm reform laws.
The BJP president said there had been many leaders for farmers, but it is PM Modi who took measures to comprehensively change the situation for them by launching many welfare measures since coming to power at the Centre in 2014
He also took a swipe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for not implementing in her state the Center's scheme to deposit Rs 6,000 into every farmer's account under the ''Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana''.
She has been creating hurdles in farmers' development, but this will not go on for long, he said and stressed that the BJP will come to power in the state next year and implement the scheme.
Assembly polls in West Bengal are due in the first half of the next year.
Lauding the PM Modi government for its pro-farmer measures, he said the Congress only spoke of waiving farmers' loan and that did not amount to more than Rs 54,000-55,000 crore in the 10 years of the UPA rule.
But the BJP-led NDA government has so far deposited over Rs 92,000 crore directly in the bank accounts of over 10 crore farmers, Mr Nadda said, adding that by enacting the three farm reform laws, the PM Modi government has unshackled farmers who can now sell their produce anywhere.
The BJP chief alleged that the opposition parties have been trying to mislead farmers and said PM Modi has worked to implement many measures that he had promised, including paying farmers 1.5 times of their input cost by hiking minimum support price.
Targeting the Congress with a snide remark, he said the party, after tasting defeat in many elections, has "begun behaving like a street cricket player who would refuse to play after losing his wicket".
The Congress has now started protesting every decision of the government, including what it had once promised, Mr Nadda added.