Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said that the newly passed farm laws were not only against farmers but also against consumers, and linked them to the latest spurt in onion prices.
Addressing a press conference in Patna while campaigning for the Congress candidates in the Bihar Assembly polls, Mr. Baghel said that by amending the Essential Commodities Act, the Centre had now allowed hoarding by traders. A State government could act only in the event of a war, drought or a 100 % increase in prices, he added.
“This is a law for capitalists…It’s not even two months since the law was passed but the consumer can already see its impact. Onions that were selling at ₹30-40 is now selling for ₹70-80, and if you go to Kerala, it has crossed even ₹80,” Mr. Baghel said.
The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister said that even though the Act envisaged no government regulation other than under exceptional circumstances, the Centre had now been “forced to check the prices because of elections in Bihar and bypolls in Madhya Pradesh”.
“In his election rally, the Prime Minister had said that some Opposition parties are batting for middlemen (dalals). But I want to say it is you government that is helping capitalists and their middlemen. Don’t blame the Opposition,” he added.