Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said that Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has double standards over the new farm laws: During his tenure as Union Agriculture Minister, Pawar had sought an APMC Act amendment to give way to the private sector.
Chouhan said that in 2011 as the agriculture minister in the United Progressive Alliance, Sharad Pawar had asked chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to amend the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act in the state to allow the private sector to play an important role in the field.
At a press conference in Hyderabad, Chouhan read out some paragraphs from letters written by Pawar: "There is a need to amend APMC Act on lines of model APMC Act to encourage private sector investment in marketing, infrastructure and providing alternate competitive marketing channels in the overall interest of farmers, consumers and agriculture trade." Chouhan claimed that Pawar had sent this letter to him in 2011. He also hit out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi over hypocrisy.
"The Congress' boat is sinking and that is why they are trying to save themselves by misleading farmers," Chouhan said.
"Government stands with the farmers. It will clarify their doubts and resolve their issues. We won't spare those elements who may try to create chaos in the country under the cover of farmers' protest," said Chouhan.
Pawar is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9, over farmers' protests against the new agri laws. Former Agriculture Minister Pawar on Sunday said that the Centre passed the agricultural laws in haste and warned that if the situation is not resolved soon, more farmers from across the country will join the protest.