Siddaramaiah terms passing of farm bills 'evilest act to destabilise foundations of democracy'
Karnataka opposition leader Siddaramaiah on Monday attacked the Centre over the passage of three farm bills in the Parliament and called it "the evilest act to destabilise the foundations of democracy".
Siddaramaiah said in a tweet, "The decision of Narendra Modi government to pass three bills related to farmers, without adequate consultation of stakeholders and debates in both the houses, is the evilest act to destabilise the foundations of democracy."
He asserted that Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, is an attempt to "empower private players with supreme power to procure from farmers without any regulation".
"This is a one-sided policy that threatens the survival of farmers," said Siddaramaiah.
He said, "Only 6 per cent farmers in India have access to the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs), while rest 94 per cent do not have. If the government really wants to help farmers, they can allow private entities to open market but the regulatory authority of those markets should remain with APMCs."
"There are more than 80 per cent small and marginal farmers who need the government's support for their produce. They are the most vulnerable and APMC was protecting them. Without APMC, there are left in no man's land. There will be no control on the traders and trade practice outside the APMC premises," he said.
"APMC will lose control to impose a levy. This is the complete surrender of state governments," Siddaramaiah continued.
Accusing the Prime Minister and BJP for weakening the farmers, he said, "The UPA had strengthened farming community through minimum support price (MSP), procurement system and public distribution system (PDS). Now, with three anti-farmer bills, Narendra Modi is trying to break their backbone."
He stated that the democratically elected farmer representatives decide the pricing in APMC based on the directions by the central government.
On Sunday, the Rajya Sabha witnessed unruly scenes as Opposition members stormed the well and reached the deputy chairman's seat to protest against the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
Following this, eight Opposition MPs were suspended from the Upper House for a week.
The farm bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha through voice vote. Both the bills were earlier passed by Lok Sabha through voice vote.