Speaking in Chandigarh, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday said farmers can change the government if they want and should keep fighting till they get a constitutional guarantee for remunerative prices of their crops.
The Telangana chief minister also paid tributes to the farmers who died during the course of the agitation against the Centre’s now-repealed farm laws.
“I bow to farmers for their grit and determination,” the CM said, referring to the year-long stir that ended last year.
“If farmers want, they can change (any) government. It is not a big thing. From where the power comes, it comes from us. Agitation should continue till farmers get the right price and there is a constitutional guarantee for it,” he said.
Rao also lauded the contribution of Punjab to the freedom struggle and bringing in a green revolution in the farming sector. “Punjab is a great state,” said Rao.
Rao was accompanied by his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. Rao was in Chandigarh to distribute Rs 3 lakh as financial assistance to the kin of the farmers, who died during the stir against the Centre’s three farm laws.
Over 700 farmers had died during the course of the agitation at the Delhi borders due to various reasons, including harsh winter, road accidents, cardiac arrest and ailments.
These laws were — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act provided for setting up a mechanism allowing the farmers to sell their farm produce outside the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Any licence-holder trader can buy the produce from the farmers at mutually agreed prices. This trade of farm produces will be free of mandi tax imposed by the state governments.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act would have allowed farmers to do contract farming and market their produces freely.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act was an amendment to the existing Essential Commodities Act. This law now would have freed items such as foodgrains, pulses, edible oils and onion for trade except in extraordinary (read crisis) situations.