"Hidden behind the farce of freedom is BJP's intention to withdraw even the minimum support that is provided to our farmers. The three new farm ordinances will dismantle the Minimum Support Price system and leave farmers at the mercy of big corporates," the Congress party has said, slamming the Modi government's agricultural reforms.
Joining issue with Rahul Gandhi's party, former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav said (as quoted by ANI), "These bills are anti-farmer and a conspiracy against farmers. In these difficult times, farmers saved our economy but now big industrialists are eying on farming which will render farmers like labourers."
Already, farmer protests are going on in Punjab and Haryana. Mobilization efforts are in progress in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and a few other States. Activist and Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav was in Bengaluru on Monday to express his solidarity with a protest march, which he called massive.
Amidst all the din, supporters of the reforms are arguing that opposition parties are hiding behind the power of big farmers to scuttle the reform efforts. They are arguing that political parties are supporting agri middlemen because the intermediation segment is primarily dominated by politicians and other vested interests in several States.
Especially, in the case of Punjab and Haryana, commission agents and the government make hundreds of crores from the APMC system. Since the APMC and MSP systems are strong in these States, they don't want reforms to take place. Big farmers benefit the most from the status quo. And they are lashing out at the Modi government for this reason.
Even though the government has assured that the MSP system will be continued, big farmers and political parties are alleging that MSP will be dismantled sooner than later.