MUMBAI: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has taken the initiative in
Maharashtra to amend the state agriculture laws to protect the interests of the farmers and ensure its approval in the upcoming monsoon session of the state Assembly scheduled on July 5.
Pawar had called a meeting at his residence on Wednesday that was attended by state agriculture minister Dada Bhuse, senior Congress minister Balasaheb Thorat, marketing federation minister Balasaheb Patil and minister of state Vishwajit Kadam.
“We want to amend the state agriculture law as we feel that the Union government’s agriculture laws are not in the interest of farmers. The proposed amendments will ensure the protection of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), redressal of grievances of farmers and protection of the interests of agriculturists during the crop trade among others. We will also insert a provision mandating license for traders which was not there in the Central laws,” Thorat told reporters.
The state government led by Uddhav Thackeray had decided not to implement the Centre’s three farm laws because of opposition by the farmers. Thorat said the government is committed to the development of the farmers. “Senior leader and former agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has given some suggestions for drafting the farm laws. We have studied the Central farm laws. The farmer interests are paramount to us,” Thorat said.
Thorat compared the Modi government to East India Company. “The Modi government is like the East India Company in the pre-Independence era. A few industrialists are looting this country with the help of the government in Centre,” Thorat said.
“Our Prime Minister has become a slave of the big capitalists. However we will not allow our freedom to be taken away and will force the government to repeal the three farm laws,” he said.