Chidambaram seeks opposition unity to beat two farm bills in Upper house

Topics P Chidambaram | Parliament | farmers

Chidambaram exhorted all the opposition parties to join hands to oppose the Bills in every forum and ensure that they do not become law in the present form
Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday accused the Modi government of harming the interests of farmers with the passage of the two Bills in the Lok Sabha.

In a media statement, he said the two bills do not contain a clause stating that the price the farmer gets from a private purchaser will not at least equal to the minimum support price (MSP). 

"The bills undermine the only regulated market available to the farmer today, without creating thousands of alternative markets that will be accessible to the farmer," he said.     

Chidambaram asserted that the bills assume perversely that the farmer and the private purchaser have equal bargaining power, and insisted that they don't. "The small farmer will be at the mercy of the private purchaser," he said. 
If a dispute arises between the farmer and the private purchaser, the machinery under the bills is so bureaucratic and convoluted that no farmer will have the strength or the resources to fight the purchaser, he charged and said the small and medium farmer will be ruined.
He exhorted all the opposition parties to join hands to oppose the Bills in every forum and ensure that they do not become law in the present form. 

"Every party has to take a stand-—is it with the farmers or is it with the BJP threatening the livelihood of farmers?," he asked.  

The Bills--Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020--were passed by the Lok Sabha earlier this week via voice vote.

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