After being trolled on social media for its silence on key farmers bills, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on Monday, issued a clarification, saying that it did not support the contentious bills in the Rajya Sabha. NCP veteran Praful Patel had participated in the debate. However, party supremo and former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was conspicuous by his absence during the debate over the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on the Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020.
Patel denied that the party supported these bills in the Rajya Sabha. “Some social media reports stating that @NCPSpeaks supported the #FarmBill2020 are false and misleading. We demanded the formation of a select committee to discuss the #FarmBills further. We strongly oppose the way in which the bill was passed.”
As far as NCP’s stand in the Lok Sabha is concerned, the party said that it has staged a walkout with other opposition parties.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Minister of Water Resources Jayant Patil, who is the state NCP president, said the party has been supporting farmers interests. “There is no question of the NCP supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. On the one hand, the central government tabled a bill enabling farmers to sell agriculture produce anywhere. However, on the other hand, it imposed a ban on onion export,” he noted.
Patil said it needs to be seen whether the amendments introduced in the bills are in the larger interest of farmers.