Harsimrat Kaur Badal calls it ‘quit’

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Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP and Food Processing Minister has called it “quit” and resigned from her post in the Union Cabinet. She has done this as a protest against the two agriculture marketing bills that have been passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

According to Harsimrat Kaur Badal, these bills are “anti-farmer” and she believes that the bills were against her party’s vision along with the legacy that it carries to work for the best interests of the farmer. It is also to be noted that her party, Shiromani Akali Dal has been BJP’s oldest ally and she has been its only representative in the Modi-led government.

Farmers’ organisations, in particular in Punjab, as well as Haryana, have grown in agitation towards the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020, along with, the Farmers’ Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, that replaces the June Ordinances. The proposed law aims to facilitate barrier-free trading in agricultural products by encouraging contract farming and selling of agricultural products beyond the mandate of that same notified APMC.

Agitating farmers are nervous more about distillation of the current MSP system and perhaps even the introduction of more negotiating strong companies than local farmers. Opposition leaders have criticized the Center for exceeding its constitutional authority in the Lok Sabha’s discussion on the Legislation, which prolonged its sitting by nearly 3 hours, since agriculture is now a topic on the list of states.

When transactions from outside APMC mandis just cannot be charged, states would also be robbed of far more-needed revenue. This was highlighted by Congress MP, Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary.