APMC Act abolition in Bihar main reason for farmers' distress, will ensure justice: Cong

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Jairam Ramesh Farmers protest

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh (File image)

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said the abolition of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act by the Bihar government in 2006 is the "single most important reason" for the distress faced by the farmers in the state, as the party promised to provide justice to the tillers in the state.


The assertion came after Rahul Gandhi along with RJD leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav interacted with farmers at a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Bihar's Kaimur district.

In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "The contrast between the Modi Government and @INCIndia has never been more evident. On the one hand, the regime's first response to the voice of the people is to label them as anti-national, terrorist, etc. and tear-gas them with drones. On the other, Rahul Gandhi interacts with farmers as equals, hearing their grievances, and learning from their experiences." "The APMC Act was abolished by the Bihar government in 2006, and this is the single most important reason for the distress faced by the farmers in Bihar," he said.


They are being forced to sell their produce at below MSP, and more often than not, it is a distress sale, he claimed.

The Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACES) put in place to replace the mandis have been a complete failure and have been simply unable to pay the MSP, Ramesh said.


"Additionally, land has been acquired from farmers for highway projects in Bihar without paying them the compensation that is legitimately due to them under the new Land Acquisition Law passed by Parliament in September 2018," he alleged.

"These were the two most common Anyays (injustices) faced by the farmers in the Mahapanchayat. Kisan NYAY (justice), a key pillar of our Paanch Nyay Agenda, aims to provide a resolution to these Anyays," the Congress general secretary said.

The maha panchayat comes at a time when farmers, mainly from Punjab, have been protesting against the government. On Tuesday, farmers, mainly from Punjab, had clashed with the Haryana Police at two border points between the states, facing tear gas and water cannons as they tried to break the barricades blocking their march to the national capital.

Besides a legal guarantee of MSP, the farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.