Displaying placards which says ‘We support Farmers’, ‘no farmers no food,’ ‘stop harassment farmers.’ The Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday organized a protest demonstration in Shillong to express solidarity with the protesting farmers against Farmer’s bill.
The opposition Congress has demanded the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government to come up with laws to protect the interest of the farmers in the state.
The demand was made during a protest staged by leaders and members at the Congress Bhavan, here as a mark to express solidarity with the farmers of the country, who are protesting against the new farm acts passed by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
The three acts – the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Shouting anti-government slogans and carrying placards, the Congress leaders demanded the immediate repeal of these three new acts which according to them “goes against the interest of the farmers”.
The protest also saw participation from few members of the farming community.
Speaking to reporters, Congress leader Ampareen Lyngdoh said despite the fact that the MDA government had declared a farmer’s day in the state but unfortunately it has failed to bring out its own state laws to protect the interest of the farmers.
“There is the allegation against the Congress party that we are just politicizing this whole issue that the farmers only of Haryana and Punjab are spearheading this demand for the repeal of the three farmers’ acts but it is unfortunate that our own state government has done nothing to protect the farmers from contract farming,” she said.
The East Shillong MLA also asked what is this contract farming? Who will benefit from this contract farming? Why have the multi-national corporates been permitted to enter agriculture in this nation?
“Our farmers in Meghalaya may not understand the impact of these three very dangerous laws but my friends, we are a party that stands and support the people’s rights despite the pandemic, we are here to stand in solidarity to support farmers across the nation”.
“One day in the near future, the farmers of Meghalaya will soon understand why there is a need to protest against the three laws that have just been enacted,” she stated.
Lyngdoh also said, “Firstly, I ask the government of Meghalaya were our farmers of the state consulted at the consultative period prior to the introduction of these bills in the two houses of the parliament? Did the government of Meghalaya ask even one farmer what they feel about these newly enacted laws? They are saying that there are no mandis in Meghalaya but why are the farmers and mandis were working very well in other parts of the country protesting?”
Asking the state government to wake up, Lyngdoh said, “We demand the state government should bring out protective laws to ensure that there is no violation of the land acts that are prevailing in our state.”
According to her, there is a need to make sure that contract farming will not make farmers poorer by the year but in fact, they should be richer every year.
She further demanded that the state government should immediately call farmers and explain to them what their rights are and how these rights are getting compromised by the implementation of these three new acts.
She said if the Government of India was not bothered by the protest of the farmers, committees would not have been formed adding the PM would not have come forward to try and negotiate with farmers but we are seeing now all of that is happening which means the Centre is taking cognizance of all the errors in these newly enacted laws.
“Therefore, the government of Meghalaya must wake up. We are a land and a people where land belongs to the people and in the event of contract farming what will be compromised. We are a land that is governed by the Sixth Schedule which are areas that will be compromised by these three newly enacted laws,” Lyngdoh stated.
“So we stand here to protest. A small voice like a drop of water can contribute tremendously to a vast ocean and we hope that our protest will be listened to and our concerns will be addressed by the government of the state,” she added.
Meanwhile, Lyngdoh also assured that the Congress party will never give up its responsibility in fighting for the rights of the people of the country.