Govt making it an issue of bloated ego, says RLD president Ajit Singh | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Govt making it an issue of bloated ego, says RLD president Ajit Singh

By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi/chandigarh
Jan 30, 2021 04:00 AM IST

Singh said that farmers have risen against the Modi government and are convinced that the intention behind the three farm laws is to benefit corporates.

Former Union minister Ajit Singh, who is the president of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and a prominent leader among Jats and farmers in western Uttar Pradesh, spoke to Brajendra K Parashar on the farmers’ agitation against the three agriculture laws, and the situation that arose after the violent protests in New Delhi on January 26, and the UP Police’s attempts to make the farmers vacate the protest site in Ghazipur. Edited excerpts:

RLD president Ajit Singh(Sunil Saxena/HT Photos)
RLD president Ajit Singh(Sunil Saxena/HT Photos)

How do you see the agitation by farm unions on Delhi’s borders against the three agriculture laws?

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The country’s farmers have risen against the Modi government. They are convinced that the intention behind the three agriculture laws is not to promote their interests but to benefit corporates, and rightly so. The agitation is not confined to just Delhi’s borders. Similar agitations are being organised in many other states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.

What is wrong with the three laws, and do you think there is no need for reforms in agriculture marketing?

There is always scope for reforms in any sector. I can also understand that every government has the prerogative to make new laws or make suitable changes in the existing ones... But it is always advisable to do so after due discussions with stakeholders, especially when a legislation has the potential to affect life and livelihood of the masses. Was there any justification for bringing the ordinances to impose laws on farmers? The Modi government also scuttled the traditional legislative process by not sending the Bills to the Select Committee for discussions. The way the ordinances were promulgated and later converted into the laws with same hurry created doubts in the minds of farmers. The outcome is for everyone to see.

What is the way out now?

The government must immediately withdraw all the three hurriedly enacted laws, respecting the general sentiments of farmers, and initiate a fresh process to bring new laws, if needed at all, after due consultation with farmers... The government is unnecessarily making the three laws an issue of a bloated ego.

Can you justify the violence by a group farmers and hoisting of another flag at the Red Fort in Delhi?

Nobody can justify this act, and we all condemn it. But the question is why did the police allow the protesters to enter Red Fort... There are allegations that he was a BJP man. Otherwise, there was no arson, no loot or shoot-out during the agitation.

FIRs have been lodged against several farmer leaders and authorities are also believed to have given them ultimatum to end the stir.

The authorities are acting in a dictatorial manner. They should have probed the charges before registering cases under the draconian provisions. UP Police are now harassing farmers who took their tractors to the rally. Do they think all this will scare farmers? Farmers are determined to continue their agitation and our party is lending full support to their peaceful protests.

What message would you like to give to farmers?

My only message to farmers is remain united, stay on course, and run the agitation peacefully. Victory will be yours because you are on the right path.

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    Brajendra K Parashar is a Special Correspondent presently looking after agriculture, energy, transport, panchayati raj, commercial tax, Rashtriya Lok Dal, state election commission, IAS/PCS Associations, Vidhan Parishad among other beats.

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