‘Farmers can’t be left at mercy of market forces’

“During the pandemic, we were advised to cover our mouth and nose, but it seems the BJP people covered their eyes and ears as well. That’s why they could not see the plight of the farmers and listen to their demands,” said Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday.

He was addressing a kisan panchayat in Tappal area of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. This was the first such panchayat held by the Samajwadi Party against the contentious farm laws.

These laws, Mr. Yadav said, were made by those who have never done farming and are used to work from 10 to 5. “A farmer doesn’t work that way. Given an opportunity, we will throw them out,” he said.

He said it was the farmer who saves the country’s economy during the pandemic. “When all of us were forced to sit at home, it was the farmer who worked relentlessly to save the country from economic distress,” he said.

From the experience of the pandemic, Mr. Yadav charged, the corporates have realised the future lies in pharmaceutical and agriculture business. “It seems they have pushed their friends in the government to come up with these farm laws,” he said.

‘Farmers’ support must’

Mr. Yadav said farmers and agriculture could not be left at the mercy of the market forces. Giving an example of the U.S., he said agriculture was one sector that demands constant support of the government. “You cannot dream of becoming a Vishwa guru, without the support of farmers,” he remarked.

Criticising the policies of the BJP-led Central government, he said the Prime Minister promised demonetisation would bring black money back into the system. “Had that been the case, there should not have been any paucity of funds. The government should tell us how much black money has been brought back. They asked us to deposit all our money into banks. Even housewives and old women were not spared. But neither the black money has come, nor the corruption has come to an end,” he said.

Fuel price hike flayed

He also criticised the government for the increase in diesel, petrol and LPG prices.

Taking on the Uttar Pradesh government for the spurt in rape cases, Mr. Yadav said the law-and-order situation was deteriorating every day because of the ‘Thok Do’ (Shoot them) policy of the Chief Minister.

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