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Manmohan, Rahul pushed for FDI in retail but opposed to farm reforms… why the contradiction?

Congress has gone in overdrive in targeting the Centre over farm laws. But, these video clips of top party leaders including Manmohan, Sonia and Rahul seem to ‘expose’ their ‘fake concern’. All of them called to eliminated middlemen, so that farmers could get their due.

New Delhi: The recently legislated agricultural laws, touted as big reforms in the farm sector, has pitted the government directly against farmers. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, are protesting against the ‘black’ farm laws at Delhi borders for over 25 days now.

However, political parties haven’t shied away from building an anti-farmer narrative against the Modi government. This comes despite the fact that Congress and AAP both sought reforms in APMC and involvement of private sector in mandi system to help them transport their crops to ‘preferred markets’ and fetch right price for their produce.

In its 2019 poll manifesto, Congress had promised to dilute/revoke APMC act to enable private sector participation. Now, that the same was made into a law, the party has gone in attack mode, apparently sensing ‘political gains’.

Meanwhile, an another instance of senior Congress leaders has come to light where top party leaders including Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi are hard-selling FDI in retail, as an effective means to empower farmers. This would increase storage and reduce wastage of agricultural produce, they said.

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In 2011, Rahul Gandhi gave unequivocal backing for allowing FDI in the sector.

“This would allow farmers to fetch better prices for their produce,” he said. He also claimed that with opening of FDI, farmers won’t have to worry about high transportation cost to mandis and they will eventually get their due.

“Almost 60% of vegetables go waste, incurring heavy losses for farmers. FDI would provide farmers a chance to directly sell their produce,” he said.

The three farm laws passed by Modi government is aimed at addressing the same issue. If farmers are able to transport perishable crops to markets on time or hand over it to some private entity, much losses can be offset. Moreover, these laws have not abolished mandi system, rathe this comes as additional facility where they can tie-up with private entity for better productivity and reducing wastage.

In spite of welcoming this move, Congress has gone in overdrive in targeting the Centre. Grand old party’s stand is itself contradictory as it is not standing for what it advocated for, years ago when it was in power.

Sonia called for eradicating middlemen

Meanwhile, a video of Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi is going viral, where she can be heard making a call to eradicate middlemen from the farming business.

“Farmer can get right prices only when he can sell his produce directly without middlemen,” Sonia Gandhi said addressing a public gathering.