NEW DELHI: Leader of Swaraj India and one of the key members of the farmer unions’ decision-making body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), Yogendra Yadav, on Thursday said the three central farm laws would not reform the Agri market but rather deform it where clout of middlemen would not be diluted as it would eventually allow bigger middlemen to enter into it.
He was reacting to an old video, surfaced on social media, where he sought to suggest that the government should regulate the Agri markets in a better way to get rid of middlemen.
Yadav alleged that the video was being circulated by trolls, aligned to the BJP, showing as if he has now made a U-turn. He claimed the move to make one video clip viral was intended to send a message that the farm movement has no basis as the central farm laws have already addressed the farmers’ concerns.
“At present, there are seven layers between farmers (producers) and consumers. That layers should be reduced. The government will have to regulate the market somewhere in a better way. Today, farmers are the biggest sufferers. That system must end,” Yadav was heard saying in the video, recorded in 2018. He had also said that there should be some way out where farmers can directly access the market.
Noting that the video was being circulated as if the central farm laws were meant to address those issues, Yadav on Thursday said he stood by what he had said over two years ago. “Indeed, there are ‘arhtiyas’ (middlemen), traders, wholesalers, stockists etc. as different layers between farmers and consumers. It (layers) affects both farmers and consumers. The government must regulate the Agri market in a better way and make Agri export-import policy in a manner which should benefit farmers,” said Yadav.
He said, the clout of stockists and exporters would, however, be strengthened under the new central farm laws which would deform the Agri markets.
Yadav also criticised the Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu for his remarks where he while speaking in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday accused him of inciting farmers that led to violence on Republic Day.
Yadav said he had already responded to the show cause notice of Delhi Police on the issue of disturbances on January 26 and demanded the police to make public any evidence which it could gather to show his involvement, if any, in those incidents.
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