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Sharad Pawar Makes U-turn, Argues Against Scrapping Farm Laws; Says 'Amend, Don't Reject'

Sharad Pawar said that parts of contention that were causing grievances to the farming community could be amended instead of the entire laws being scrapped.

Image- PTI


Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday called for the need to make certain amendments in the three Farm Laws, asserting that they need not be rejected in their entirety. The former Union Agriculture Minister said that parts of contention that were causing grievances to the farming community could be amended instead of the entire laws being scrapped. He also noted that details of the Farm Laws needed to be studied in detail first before arriving at a decision.

While speaking at a private university program in Mumbai, Sharad Pawar weighed in on tabling a bill against the Centre's agricultural laws saying, "Instead of rejecting the entire bill, we can demand amendment in the part about which the farmers have an objection."

Bill against Farm Laws unlikely in monsoon session: Pawar

In a recent statement, Maharashtra Minister Balasaheb Thorat had said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government will table a bill in the upcoming monsoon session on July 5 to protect the interests of farmers. "The three black agricultural laws introduced by the Central government are anti-farmer, anti-commercial, so the Maharashtra government will introduce an agriculture reform bill that protects the interests of farmers. The bill will be introduced in the coming monsoon session", Thorat had said. 

Addressing this, Pawar announced that it is unlikely that a resolution against the Centre's agricultural laws will be adopted during the 2-day monsoon session. He however noted that a group of ministers from the MVA government was studying different aspects of the Centre's bill.

"Had a discussion with Balasaheb Thorat on this. As the Centre has cleared the Bills, before passing these, States should have discussed the contentious points and decide. I don't think it will come up in the 2-day State Assembly session. If it comes, should be discussed," the NCP chief added.

The BJP has alleged that Sharad Pawar had pushed for similar reforms to be introduced during his tenure as the UPA Minister in 2008 where he had sought to amend APMC Act to allow private sector participation. However, he joined other opposition parties in supporting the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmer unions and supported the call to repeal the Centre's new laws.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the Delhi border points --- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur --- since November 2020, demanding the repeal of the three Farm laws. The Centre and farmer unions have held several rounds of discussions and are currently at an impasse over the laws.

(With Agency Inputs)

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