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RLD chief urges PM to end impasse on farm laws

Farmers protesting over new farm law issue at Singhu border, in New Delhi on June 12.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

In a fervent appeal to the Prime Minister to end the deadlock on the farm laws, Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary said on Thursday that “policy measures can only be termed as reforms only if they satisfy the larger social good.”

Reminding the PM of his statement that he was just a phone call away from the protesting farmers, Mr. Chaudhary said it was only the government and elected representatives that were expected to reach out in a structured manner to the farmers.

“It pains the nation that even after your statement, the government appears to have further withdrawn from engaging with the farmer organisations even as the farmers are waiting at Delhi’s borders,” Mr. Chaudhary said in a letter to the PM, written on the eve of the completion of six months of farmers’ protests against the farm laws.

Referring to the Agriculture Minister’s statements in the media wherein he suggested that a rollback of laws was not possible, Mr Chaudhary said he could understand that there was a fear in government circles that backtracking on these laws could become a precedent. “However, in the face of public sentiment, a sensitive government would not shy away from taking a step back in order to move forward.”

Mr. Chaudhary averred the laws appeared to have been framed without giving due consideration to the need for widespread consultations with a larger segment of farmers who are the most affected.

“It is not clear to the farmers, how these laws improve their market position or pricing power,” he said.

Mr. Chaudhary went on to add that the laws were perceived to enable wider private sector participation, but, without the security that governmental intervention in pricing could offer.

He contended that the farmers’ agitation had had a negative economic impact, but the failure to resolve the key issues had also hurt the pride of the nation’s agriculturists.

In a related development, Bharatiya Kisan Union national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said on Thursday that “the farmers would find their remedy in Parliament and the government would be treated in villages.”

He said the first dose of the treatment was given in West Bengal (where the BJP lost in the Assembly elections) and the second dose would be administered in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand elections where villagers would vote out the arrogant government. “The illness is serious and a long treatment is required,” said Mr Tikait in his characteristic style.

Referring to revoking of the farm laws, Mr. Tikait said the farmer would find the cure in the Parliament.

He said farmers’ tractors were still ready to march towards Delhi. “We will go to Delhi and will make our schedule public. Right now, we are conducting rehearsals by taking out tractor rallies in Uttar Pradesh.”

The first such rally that started from Saharanpur reached Meerut on Thursday night. Led by BKU president Naresh Tikait, it is expected to reach the Ghazipur border on Friday.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 5:48:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rld-chief-urges-pm-to-end-impasse-on-farm-laws/article34953657.ece

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