New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement Friday that the three contentious farm laws will be repealed has taken Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) by surprise, an official of the organisation said.
Speaking to ThePrint, BKS organising secretary Dinesh Kulkarni pointed out that the move will ultimately lead to long-term losses for the farmers, but called the decision “correct” to avoid “unnecessary controversy”.
In September last year, President Ram Nath Kovind had given his assent for the three farm bills: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020. The move had sparked protests by farmer unions, but the the BKS had refused to participate in the year-long agitation with the others.
However, it had said that the new laws required some changes.
“This (repeal of the laws) will result in long-term losses for the farmer due to the stubbornness of the so-called farmers,” he told ThePrint.
Improving laws would have benefitted farmers
BKS had supported the contentious farm laws, but had called for some changes, including making Minimum Support Price (MSP) a legal right.
“By improving these laws, farmers, especially small and medium farmers, would have benefitted more,” Kulkarni said.
According to Kulkarni, the “real problem for the farmers is their exploitation in the market”. He said this needs to be prevented by “making a law on remunerative value based on cost”.
In August, BKS had written to PM Modi pointing out that absence of remunerative prices of farm produce is at the heart of the unrest within the farmer community.
“The honourable Prime Minister has talked about making the MSP more effective, and has also mentioned about forming a committee for it. Along with welcoming this (decision), the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh urges them (the government) to ensure representation of non-political organisations of the country in this (committee),” he added.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)