Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday spoke in favour of the agrarian laws and said that the new laws are in the interest of farmers. Kumar made this statement when was speaking with media after his courtesy meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Delhi on Thursday.
"The legislations are in the interest of farmers and not against them. The Centre has opted for the right path by holding talks with the farmer unions agitating against the three laws. Hopefully, the issue will be resolved soon," he said.
This was Kumar's first meeting with PM Modi after being sworn as the chief minister in November last year. On November 16 last year, Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth straight term following the National Democratic Alliance (NDA's) victory in state Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, the farmers continue to protest against the farm laws at Delhi borders. In order to escalate the protests, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of the agitating farmers' unions, has called for rail roko (Railway blockade) across the country on February 18 from noon to 4 pm. The SKM had also observed 'Chakka Jam' on February 6.
Farmers associations supported by opposition parties, including the RJD, held an hour-long 'chakka jam' (road blockade) in Bihar on February 6 in response to the nation-wide agitation called by the farmers' unions against the Centre's farm laws. Although the Chakka Jam passed off peacefully in Bihar, there were incidents of the blockade on National and state highways for a brief period in different districts, including Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Darbhanga and Bhagalpur.
The Parliamentary sessions have also witnessed heated faceoffs between the Centre and the Opposition over the farm laws, with PM Modi slaying the opposition in both houses over the misinformation campaign on the farm laws.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 aims at freeing the farmers from the constraints of the state Agriculture Produce Market Committees whereby they would be able to sell their produce anywhere. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 protects and empowers farmers to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters for farm services. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 specifies that the supply of foodstuffs including cereals, pulses, potato, edible oilseeds, and oils shall be regulated only under exceptional circumstances.
(With ANI inputs)