Big blow to Congress in Karnataka amidst opposition meeting, big victory of BJP-JDS on the issue of farmers
oi-Anjan Kumar Chaudhary
On Tuesday, on one hand, in Bengaluru, where 26 opposition parties of the country gathered to chalk out an election strategy against the BJP and the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, on the other hand, the current Congress government in the State Legislative Council was getting discredited.
The Congress government failed to pass the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (Regulation and Development) Amendment Bill in the Karnataka Legislative Council. The BJP and JDS have thwarted the plans of the Siddaramaiah government and have finally been forced to send it to a House committee.
Defeat of Congress on APMC Amendment Bill
Opposition legislators joined in on sending the bill to a committee of the assembly for review and pressed for a division of votes. The Congress lacks a majority in the Karnataka Legislative Council, so it lost by 31 votes to 21, which is considered a huge setback for the ruling party.
Provision for farmers to sell products only in APMC
Karnataka Minister Shivanand Patil introduced the APMC amendment bill in the Legislative Council, in which the farmers of the state are allowed to sell their crops only in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee. Seeking support from the opposition, the government said that the central government has also withdrawn its law. The debate went on for three hours and the opposition claimed that the government was showing haste on this serious issue.
The government argued for the withdrawal of the law from the center
The opposition wanted the bill to be sent to a committee of the House for analysis, while the government argued that it was ready to incorporate whatever suggestions the opposition members had in the bill. Patil argued, “The BJP-led central government has itself withdrawn the law and there is no point in keeping it in Karnataka.” But, the opposition insisted on jointly sending the bill to the committee and it won with 31 votes against the government’s 21 votes.
BJP called the bill anti-farmer
Before voting, BJP MLCs claimed, ‘The bill completely exposes the anti-farmer stand of the government as well as the network of middlemen in these markets. Farmers will lose their right to sell their products anywhere. ‘ In response, the minister said, ‘Except Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, all other states have repealed this law. Contrary to the objectives of the law, farmers are neither getting good price nor doubling their income.
It was also said by the government that ‘APMCs are on the verge of closure’. We have kept this as a priority in our manifesto and accordingly the bill was placed on the floor of the house. But, at least for now, the Siddaramaiah government of the Congress has been forced to kneel down in front of the numerical strength of the opposition.