BJP used force to push through farm bills, alleges Mamata Banerjee

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The farm bills passed by Parliament on Sunday will trigger a food pandemic in the country and wipe off small and marginal farmers, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged at the state secretariat on Monday afternoon. She accused the ruling BJP at the Centre of forcefully pushing the bills through.

“The Centre has bulldozed democracy and the federal structure of the country. Voting was not allowed on the farmers’ bill although the Constitution says that it has to be allowed if someone demands so. But they bulldozed the rights of farmers and passed the bill through voice vote. This must be condemned,” said Banerjee.

While the government blamed the Opposition for not seeking a division of votes, a few opposition MPs said they had put forth the demand, but it was not accepted.

“When a division was asked for, as per Parliamentary rules, BJP, due to less members present, resorted to violence to pass agriculture bills. Central government took power of states to regulate prices for farmers and is orchestrating ‘food-pandemic’,” she added

Amid pandemonium in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, Parliament passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

While addressing the media at the secretariat, Banerjee did not specify which of these bills she was referring to but called it “black Sunday.”

“A fascist government is controlling our lives,” she quipped.

“All powers over land and agricultural produce have been given to landlords and middlemen. In whose interest have so many agricultural products, including onion, been taken out of the list of essential commodities? Farmers will no longer be able to fix the price of their crop. The states can no longer control the price of crops or monitor their supply,” said the chief minister.

“A conspiracy is on to take land away from farmers. There is a conspiracy to pass on these lands to landlords. Being in majority does not mean the entire country can be sold. I call all parties to unitedly oppose this. We will stay behind them and support the movement,” said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) countered Banerjee by calling her “anti-national and anti-farmer.”

“The chief minister is a proponent of double standards as far as farmers are concerned. She is opposed to their empowerment. She did not allow the Prime Minister’s Kishan Nidhi Yojna scheme to be implemented in Bengal. It would have benefited farmers,” said Bengal BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar.

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