Opposition gang-up over farm laws due to BJP’s election wins: UP minister

Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Minister Mukut Bihari Verma on Tuesday said opposition parties have joined together against the new farm laws due to their frustration over the recent election results.
He claimed the opposition parties and some farmer leaders have realised that their survival is at stake if they do not agitate against the BJP.
The minister also addressed a ‘kisan sammelan’ in Amethi’s Tikarmafi, one of the several such farmer meetings held by BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh to counter opposition claims on the agri-marketing laws enacted at the Centre.
“Those who are protesting should be asked what is wrong with the farm laws. They are not ready to tell that because they do not know about these laws. If they are asked to talk, they are not ready,’ Verma told reporters in Amethi.
‘They are united because they are disappointed seeing the results of all the recent elections going in favour of the BJP,” he said, in an apparent reference to the Bihar Assembly elections and the local elections at other places where the BJP has recently done well.
“The farmers are busy in their fields, and those carrying out the agitation are opposition parties and some farmer leaders who have realised that if they do not agitate together, they will not survive,’ the minister said.
‘The farm laws are definitely in the interest of farmers,” he said.
He suggested that amendments can be made to the new laws following ‘democratic traditions’.
A BJP statement said its state president Swatantra Dev Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya were among the leaders who addressed other kisan sammelans.
Addressing a farmers’ meeting in Gonda, Singh claimed that opposition leaders felt that they could fool people with ‘their drama’ and regain lost ground.
The BJP in Uttar Pradesh started its four-day kisan sammelan programme on Monday.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are gathered at Delhi’s border, seeking the repeal of the three central laws meant to deregulate the agri-marketing sector.
Farmer unions say that the laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system. But the BJP-led government at the Centre has said the fear is unfounded.