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Eye on polls, AAP to keep raising farmers’ issues

NewsEye on polls, AAP to keep raising farmers’ issues

NEW DELHI: The Aap Aadmi Party (AAP) is planning to strongly raise the issue of farmers. Last week, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha brought a private member’s bill, Minimum Support Price Guarantee Bill, to Parliament to guarantee MSP to farmers for their crops. While talking to The Sunday Guardian, Chadha said: “I’ll raise this issue strongly in the House and will make sure the voice of the farmers reaches the ears of the ignorant government sitting at the Centre.”
The Bill suggests that the Centre shall constitute a “Commission for Guaranteed Minimum Support Price”, for carrying out purposes of the Bill. The private bill seeks a legal guarantee to farmers for Minimum Support Price based on the C2+FL formula. Not only at the central level, but the party is also taking up the MSP issue at the state level. Two days after the introduction of the Bill in the Parliament, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Maan attended the seventh Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It was his first meeting after becoming Punjab CM and in this meeting, CM Maan took up the issue of MSP. While talking with reporters CM Maan highlighted the plight of Punjab’s agriculture. “I raised Punjab’s issues, biggest being the variety of crops. We are caught up in wheat and rice. Our water levels have decreased to a dangerous level. We demand MSP for farmers and demand a reformed committee as there are no stakeholders in it,” Mann told reporters. “Last year, when the farmers finished their year-long agitation against the three farm laws, the Centre had assured that they would form a committee for making MSP a legal guarantee. After the passage of almost one year, the Centre has now formed a flawed and biased committee with BJP supporters as its members. On top of that, this committee has no agenda for discussing MSP as a legal guarantee,” said Chadha.
Various political analysts think this is an exercise to lure the farmers’ vote bank, which is a decisive force in state politics. About 36% of the total workforce is dependent on the farm sector in the state. “When various other parties in Punjab are taking up issues like the release of Sikh prisoners, at that time AAP has brought up the right issue to reach a larger vote bank,” a political analyst said. “As 2024 General Elections are approaching, the party is eyeing 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state,” added a political analyst. The recent loss in the Sangrur by-election brought AAP’s tally to zero in Lok Sabha but, taking up major issues like this may help the party to lure the large vote bank of farmers.

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