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Maharashtra Congress says MVA against farm bills, unlikely to implement in state

Farmers across the country have taken to the street to protest against the three contentious farm bills which were passed by the government in the Parliament earlier this week.

Published: 25th September 2020 05:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2020 08:07 PM   |  A+A-

Punjab farmers protests

Bhartiya Kisan Union activists protest against three ordinances passed by the Centre amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at Badal village of Punjab. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

PUNE: The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which are part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, on Friday said they would try to ensure that the farm sector reform bills are not implemented in the state.

Speaking in Pune, deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar said farmers as well as the NCP and other parties are opposed to the new bills.

"Farmers think that the laws are not beneficial for them. There was no hurry (to pass them)," he said.

Asked whether they would be implemented in Maharashtra, he said, "We will try to ensure that they are not implemented, but at the same time we will have to see what new issues crop up.

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"We are studying what can happen if the matter goes to the court," Pawar said, adding that the government has sought opinion of the legal department too.

He had held a meeting on the issue where Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, Cooperation Minister Balasaheb Patil, leaders of Mathadi workers (head-loaders who work in APMCs) and other stake-holders were present, he added.

Earlier in the day, state Congress chief and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said they will "work together and take a decision on non-implementation of the new farm bills."

State Congress leaders will meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on September 28 over the issue, while on October 2, a state-wide 'dharna' agitation will be held against the new bills, he added.

The Congress wanted both farm sector bills as well as the labour reform bills to be scrapped, Thorat said.

"The new bills aim to scrap the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). The government wants to demolish the APMC system and hand over the marketing system to traders. Due to this, farmers will not get the minimum support price. Even the (old) labour protection laws are being scrapped," he alleged.

PWD Minister and another Congress leader Ashok Chavan said the new bills will benefit only the rich and corporates.

Various farmer groups had called for a nationwide shutdown on Friday against the three farm sector bills which await presidential assent.

The three bills are the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

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