‘Tukde tukde gang’ taking advantage of farmers’ protest: Law Minister


PATNA: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday stated that stern action will be taken against “Tukde tukde gang” trying to take advantage of farmers’ movement against the new farm laws. The Union Minister for Law and Justice said this while launching Bihar BJPs statewide “Kisan Chaupal Sammelan” (farmers conference) in support of the three farm laws at Tekbigha village in Bakhtiarpur Assembly constituency of Patna district.

“They (those protesting farm laws) are saying that they will not withdraw their movement unless and until these laws are withdrawn. We would like to say that Narendra Modi government respects farmers but would like to make it clear that stern action will be taken against ‘tukde tukde gang’ taking advantage of farmers movement,” the minister said.

“I want to ask who are these people who are talking the language of breaking the country… Now demands are being raised to free those so-called intellectuals who are in jails for indulging in rioting in Delhi and Maharashtra. Police have filed chargesheets, they are not able to obtain bail from the court as trials are underway. Now these people have taken refuge under farmers’ movement for their interest but we will not allow them to succeed in their goal,” Prasad said.

Meanwhile, Food, Railway and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal has been more direct in his charge, alleging that certain Leftist and Maoist elements seem to have taken “control” of the agitation and rather than discussing on farmer issues, they seem to be having some other agenda.

“Centre is ready 24 hours a day to hold discussions with the farmers. If protest is freed from maoists & naxals, then our farmers will definitely understand that laws are in their and country’s interest. Even after that if they’ve any doubt, we are open for talks,” said Goyal.

“I’m confident that most of the farmers stand with the laws, some of them had few reservations which have been sorted through talks. No solution is ever found by leaving the table after putting one point, that shows maybe movement has gone out of their hands,” he added.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country. The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of the big corporates.

The Centre has maintained that MSP and Mandi mechanisms will stay.

Prasad asserted that the three laws have been enacted to benefit farmers especially small and marginal ones across the country and wondered as why the opposition parties and farmers of Punjab are agitating against the laws which will free the farmers from shackles of the mandi system as they can sell their produce anywhere in the country.

“The laws give the farmers opportunity to sell their produce either in Mandi or in PACS or outside the realm of mandi, PACS or Vyapar Mandal…I just want to ask whether or not farmers be given such freedom or opportunity. It is beyond ones fathom as they are opposing the laws,” he said.

The minister cited examples of farmers of Kishanganj and Aurangabad in Bihar making good money by selling one lakh MT of pineapple and 200 MT of strawberry to the traders from Kolkata, respectively. “Why makhana (gorgon nut) of north Bihar be sold locally and why not it be given the access to global market?” he asked.