Fact-Checking Rahul Gandhi’s Misinformation On Agri Acts
The Congress party, which had proposed abolition of APMC Act in its 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is now opposing the related bill, which was passed in Parliament.
Taking to Twitter, the truant Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, termed the farm bills “anti-farmer” and questioned the “removal” of APMC markets.
This is sheer misinformation. Of late, this has been the strategy of the Congress to spread misinformation and provoke people to resort to extreme agitations.
The party adopted this strategy with the help of its ecosystem during Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, which ended in violence and riots.
By spreading misinformation and provoking people, the party feels they will ride back to power. On the contrary, it is only alienating itself from the people. Todays farmers are not dumb as “prince crowning glory”, but are far too intelligent to differentiate between myths and facts.
The party leaders should have learnt the lessons of spreading misinformation during Modi government’s first term. The lies on unemployment, Rafale, jobs, suit-boot ki sarkar etc, did not cut ice. The BJP, instead, came back to power with more seats in last general elections.
Some parties don’t learn from mistakes. That’s their choice. However, it is worth separating facts from myths.
Myth: The bill will lead to agriculture land acquisition by corporates and farmers will end up becoming labourers.
Facts: The bill prohibits sale, lease and mortgage of farmers’ land and ensures sponsors are prohibited from acquiring ownership rights or making permanent modifications on farmers’ land.
Myth: The bill does not provide a legal safety net for farmers against corporates.
Facts: The bill provides for dispute redressal mechanism where farmers can approach the concerned sub-divisional magistrate for deciding any disputes under farming agreement.
The bill also ensures no action is initiated for recovery of any dues against the agricultural land of the farmer.
Myth: The bill does not provide any price guarantee for farmers. The practice of procuring grains at MSP by central agencies like FCI will end.
Facts: The bill ensures a price guarantee for farmers under the agreement and provision for a penalty in case of payment failure. Further, MSP is an independent structure which will not be impacted by the bill.
Myth: The commission agents under APMC are verified and payment is secured. The bill does not safeguard farmer payments.
Facts: The bill mandates every trader to make payment to the farmer on the same day or within maximum three working days.
Myth: Creating two market spaces, markets run by agricultural produce market committees as well as new free trading markets, is disastrous.
Facts: Farmers will sell where they want and they will sell where there are better profit margins.
Myth: The reforms will weaken the support price mechanism and the procurement system.
Facts: The government will continue giving appropriate prices to farmers through the MSP mechanism.
Myth: In interlocked markets, farmers depend on middlemen for loans. The reforms ignore these realities.
Facts: Middlemen stand between farmers and consumers. They take a big chunk of farmers’ incomes. The reforms will keep them out of the process.
Myth: The unequal bargaining power will leave farmers vulnerable to exploitation.
Facts: Those misleading farmers don’t know how aware farmers are in the country.
Myth: Reforms will hurt the vulnerable farmers.
Facts: People who say this had promised the same reforms, but those were never implemented.
Earlier, Opposition MPs created a ruckus in Rajya Sabha and even broke Deputy Chairman’s microphone, while the bill was presented on the table.
Derek O’Brien stormed into the well of the house and climbed on to the Deputy Chairman’s dais in a bid to disrupt the house proceedings. The TMC MP also made an attempt to tear the house rule book.
These ugly scenes occurred during the debate on farm bills – Farmers’ and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, that was earlier introduced by the Modi government in both the houses of the parliament.
The bills, earlier, were passed in Lok Sabha.
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