Patna,Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Friday demanded that the Centre shelve the three contentious agriculture-related Bills that have led to agitation by farmers in many state.
He said that the protests by farmers were increasing in every state across the country. “They are coming out on the roads to protest against the Bills got passed by the Narendra Modi government,” the former Deputy Chief Minister said after leading a ‘tractor march’ on Patna roads.
“My party strongly opposes the Bills and demands a rollback. The Modi government has put the agriculture sector in private hands, similar to the railways and civil aviation sectors, in a bid to benefit corporate friends funding the BJP,” said Tejashwi, who is Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly.
“Moreover, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, as is his habit, is again showing hostility. His party JD-U’s spokesman has claimed that Minimum Support Price will be mentioned in the relevant Bill,” the RJD leader.
“Nitish was earlier against protests on Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens, demonetisation and other issues. He is doing it again. He doesn’t care about farmers, unemployed youths, or the flood situation in Bihar; he just cares about his chair.”
“We have already pointed out that MSPs of different crops have gone down in Bihar after Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act was abolished in 2006 by the Nitish Kumar government. Our farmers will be completely dependent on industrialists with the new laws. It will increase the monopoly of corporates in agriculture sector too,” Tejashwi said.
As for coalition talks with other parties ahead of Assembly polls, he said that he was holding talks with Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and Left parties and the consultations were moving in the right direction.
“RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha came to my residence for a meeting. I am hopeful of positive results,” he said.
Earlier, Kushwaha publicaly announced that the coalition with the RJD was a very tough issue. He had asked party supporters to be prepared to contest all 243 seats in Bihar.
On Friday morning, in the wake of a call for a bandh by different political parties to protest against the passage of the three contentious agriculture-related Bills by Parliament, Tejashwi had led a ‘tractor march’ on the Patna roads.
“The Bills hold big consequences for the future of farmers. These proposed laws will paralyse the farmers as well as the entire agriculture sector in the country. The Bills were forcibly got passed by the central government in a bid to make the Indian farmers dependent on industrialists,” Tejashwi, the former Deputy Chief Minister, said while riding a tractor.
A procession of around 50 tractors followed the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, with his party supporters shouting slogans against the NDA government over the Bills.
Earlier, the ‘tractor march’ began from Tejashwi Yadav’s official residence located just behind Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s residence on Anne Marg.
The protesters, without following social distancing norms, were headed toward the Governor’s House when a posse of police briefly stopped them for security reasons. They were, however, allowed to proceed towards Bailey Road.
The procession was scheduled to take a round of the Income Tax roundabout, Dak Bungalow Chowk and return to the RJD office on Veerchand Patel Road.
Due to the movement of the convoy of tractors, normal traffic was badly hit in the state capital, especially the busy Bailey Road.