The Congress party will launch a protest against the contentious farm bills that was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. The two bills - Farmer's produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill 2020 - will now be sent to the President for his assent.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has advised the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCSs) to take up the matter among the masses in Punjab, Haryana, and its immediate vicinity. Besides, several farm organisations have called for 'bandh' on September 25.
A total of 12 opposition parties yesterday gave a notice for a no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh over the manner in which two farm Bills were passed after he overruled their pleas for an adjournment of the proceedings.
The Opposition parties that have submitted the notice include the Congress, All India Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, CPI, CPM, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, IUML and Kerala Congress (Mani).
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said democracy has been shamed by the manner in which the government issued "death warrants" against farmers by passing two bills related to the agriculture sector.
"The farmers grow gold from land, but the arrogance of the Modi government is making farmers shed tears of blood," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
"Democracy has been shamed by the manner in which the government passed death warrants against farmers in the form of two farm bills in Rajya Sabha," he tweeted.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). This, the government says, is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
Farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their production under this Act, according to the government.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 seeks to give farmers the right to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price. It seeks to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from farmers to sponsors.