New Delhi: The government may face an ally hurdle in the Upper House of Parliament as major alliance partner Akali Dal is unhappy over the proposed bills which were brought in to replace the ordinances, amid farmers blocking the Delhi-Manali highway at Ropar in Punjab for two hours on Tuesday.
The Akali Dal and the JJP have voiced their reservations on the matter. Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal is likely to raise the issue with BJP President JP Nadda. "The SAD feels that it is its responsibility to get their reservations addressed and the party is committed to take up all issues raised by them with GOI," he said in a tweet after meeting a farmers' delegation on September 12. Party sources say that the stand has not changed.
The Congress and its allies are already against the bills and are working on a joint strategy to stall them.
Congress Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa also attacked the government on the issue, saying, "The farmers of Punjab, Haryana, Western UP have contributed by giving 60 percent of India's wheat and rice to the Centre. Now after 55 years, when you have fully utilised the farmers of these three states you want to leave them in the lurch."
The Congress is trying to get the maximum support to oppose the bills and is mulling the idea to force the government to send these bills to a select committee for further deliberations. The Congress claims that there will be widespread support for the party's stand.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 is presented as for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to the sale and purchase of farmers' produce.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 is to provide a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner.
The Bill also replaces the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020.
The Congress said this is an 'Act' which will give freedom to corporates to "brutally exploit" farmers and take away the protection that the MSP and the various state Mandi Acts give them.