Slamming the Centre over the treatment of farmers protesting the new farm laws, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday likened the installing of multi-layered barricading and nails at protest sites to the old tactics of “dacoits” blocking routes of villages while caring out robberies, and accused the govt of internationalising the farmers’ issue.

The senior Congress leader also warned that if the govt doesn’t resolve the difficulty of farmers soon, the agitation will spread across the country. In an interview to PTI, Baghel said the farmers were demanding that there should be a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) which should tend to them. “Why only Punjab, Haryana and Chhattisgarh, within the whole country, crops should be bought at MSP,” he asserted.

He dismissed the suggestion that the Opposition couldn’t forcefully raise the voice for the farmers on the three farm laws, saying former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was the primary one to boost the matter. “When these laws were made, Rahul Gandhi was the primary one to boost this issue, even in Parliament. He also administered tractor rallies in Punjab and Haryana. He showed the way then farmers proceeded thereon path,” Baghel said.

The farmers are completing a non-political movement which may be a good thing, but Rahul Gandhi had taken the initiative, the Chhattisgarh chief minister added. He asserted that the Opposition strongly opposed the laws both inside and out of doors Patliament, and to mention that they didn’t raise their voice forcefully is completely wrong.

Asked about the multi-layered barricading and iron nails studded on roads at the protest sites on Delhi’s border points, Baghel said that within the olden days “when dacoits wont to perform dacoities in villages, they wont to stop all the routes by installing nails and leave only one route open for his or her exit.” “Now, the govt is doing that,” he added.

On the controversy over global celebrities like singer Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg expressing support to the farmers’ protests, Baghel question the government’s approach of countering them by issuing a politician statement. “You (the government) are further encouraging this by reacting thereto . They (the government) have internationalised it. If you’d not have reacted, it might not are internationalised,” the Chhattisgarh chief minister said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the MEA had slammed the remarks made by pop singer Rihanna and other celebrities and activists on farmer protests, saying the facts on the difficulty must be ascertained before rushing to discuss it. remarking that India also speaks on problems with other countries like on the Capitol Hill violence within the US recently, Baghel took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Howdy Modi event, saying he was seen “campaigning” there. He urged the govt to require care of the economic needs of the farmers and fulfil its promises like the implementation of the Swaminathan committee report and doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

“You had talked about implementing the Swaminathan committee report and doubling the farmers’ income by 2022. Now we are into 2021, how far have we reached in doubling the farmers’ income, the govt must answer these questions,” Baghel said.

If the govt doesn’t resolve the farmers’ issue soon, the agitation will spread across the state , he said. to spotlight the widespread opposition to the laws, he also acknowledged that Rahul Gandhi had met President Ram Nath Kovind and handed over two crore signatures of farmers collected by the Congress against the farm laws.

Baghel alleged that the first issue was “that this government doesn’t have a vision”. From the time of India’s first prime minister Nehru to Gandhi , there was a paucity of foodgrains, but Gandhi gave the slogan of revolution to which the farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh responded and supported the govt , he said.

The farmers increased production to such levels that “we became aatmanirbhar as far as foodgrains are concerned”, Baghel said. “Now the govt doesn’t have an area to stay all the foodgrains. You can’t just keep putting it in godowns as there’s a limited capacity. they ought to have acted on time, I had proposed two years ago that states should be allowed to use the excess foodgrains, be it ‘Makka (maize) or Dhaan (paddy)’, to supply ethanol,” he said.

“But it’s stuck. If you give this permission to states there’ll be less pressure on the Centre also as states,” Baghel argued. Farmers are producing at the behest of the govt , so who will ensure their welfare and why should they not get MSP, he asked.

Thousands of farmers are protesting at Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding the rollback of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and therefore the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of massive corporations. However, the govt has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and inaugurate new technologies in agriculture


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