Amaravati, Sep 25 : Thousand of Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) workers in Andhra Pradesh are protesting the new farm bills which the Parliament cleared recently, accusing them of being anti-farmer and in favour of business corporations.
“The farm bills will cause great injustice to farmers. Though many political parties opposed their passage, the government still passed them forcibly,” senior AP Communist Party leader Gorla Ramakrishna told IANS.
He said that earlier when people used to hoard agriculture products to manipulate market prices, the government used to raid such hoarders to bring order and protect the farmers.
However, he said these farm bills will create massive asymmetry, pitting ordinary farmers against corporate giants armed with the wherewithal, cold storage, transportation facilities and others to literally rule the market.
The Left leader said that a farmer always strives to sell his produce and repay the debts he has incurred while cultivating the crops.
“A farmer does not have infrastructure to even store his produce for even 10 days. He will be in a hurry to repay his debts. With these new bills, all the powers will now go into the hands of middlemen and corporates,” said Ramakrishna.
He said the corporates can easily move massive amounts of farm produce from state to state to cash in on market uncertainties.
“A real farmer will not benefit with these bills. Not only a farmer, even a buyer will suffer as the middlemen and corporates will create artificial shortage of farm produce to make a killing,” the CPM leader observed.
Importantly, Ramakrishna alleged that middlemen and other market forces who used to stealthily hoard farm produce until now which do it legitimately with these bills allowing them.
“Before the introduction of these bills, hoarders used to illegally store farm produce with fear which will now get legitimised. Now all the people with financial muscle will do it deliberately. Ordinary farmers and buyers will be the losers,” he lamented.
The senior leader said CPM started resisting these bills right from the time they were proposed.
Farm bills aside, Ramakrishna has also expressed his displeasure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies which according to him are benefiting the rich corporates and cronies.
“Especially during the Coronavirus time, we have seen how a person rose up in the billionaire rankings. What does it show? See how the fuel prices have increased. It is our anguish that this government is not caring for the farmers and the common man,” he said.
He disapproved of the farm bills, saying that corporate companies, foreign entities and others will take advantage of the privileges they accord them.
He said the country will have to contend with corporate farming in the future when small farmers will be forced to give up their profession for large corporates to emerge and carry out corporate farming.
“Nowadays labourers are increasing. There is no truth in the claims made by some people that labourers are not available. What will happen to the farmer who gives up agriculture? He is becoming a labourer,” he said.