West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee flays Centre over farm laws, says it will help hoarders

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New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday (September 29) hit out at the Centre over the contentious farm laws, and said that this legislation will devastate the farmers of the country and help the hoarders.

Addressing an administrative meeting at branch secretariat ‘Uttar Kanya’ in Siliguri, Mamata Banerjee said she will speak to state officials and take steps to protect the interest of the farmers.

The West Bengal Chief Minister said, “The farm laws will devastate the farmers of the country. It will only help the hoarders. The laws will not serve the interest of the farmers. We will soon convene a meeting of officials to see what can be done to protect the interest of the farmers.” 

The opposition parties, including Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, have been protesting three farm sector laws enacted by the Narendra Modi government, alleging these are “anti-farmer measures” and will “destroy” the agriculture sector.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya today urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to frame a law in the Assembly to negate the “anti-agriculture” legislation passed by the Centre and protect the interests of farmers.

In a letter to Banerjee, Bhattacharya claimed that the three farm laws, if implemented, will lead to the end of minimum support price regime and cause exploitation of farmers, while corporates will take over the sector.

He said, “I request you to take initiative to stop the Union Government to implement the Anti-Farmers bills 2020 here,” while referring to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020. 

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Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flayed the parties opposing the new farm laws. He said they wanted only the middlemen to thrive and referred to the burning of a tractor in Delhi by Congress workers as an insult to farmers.

Without naming the Congress, PM Modi said, “They are opposing the freedom of farmers and want their problems to continue forever. By torching farming equipment, which the agriculturists worship, these people are now insulting farmers.” 

He said the opposition has only one way of doing politics in the country and that is by opposing things, while added that by opposing big reformative steps by the Centre such as the farm laws, these forces were making themselves irrelevant in the society and in the country.

The Prime Minister accused the opposition of opposing everything from GST, One Rank One Pension, Rafale deal, Statue of Unity, 10 per cent reservation for the poor and celebration of November 26 as Samvidhan Diwas.

He said that politics of the opposition for opposition’s sake was the root of the frustration of a party which had ruled for four generations.

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