Farmers protest: Centre sitting on Swaminathan report since 2014, says Ramesh

Congress leader says UPA govt constituted a panel of CMs, headed by CM Narendra Modi of Gujarat, to study 2006 Swaminathan report

Jairam Ramesh (left) and Kanhaiya Kumar at the press conference (video screengrab)
Jairam Ramesh (left) and Kanhaiya Kumar at the press conference (video screengrab)


Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ongoing farmers' protests, alleging that the Centre is doing injustice to them.

Interacting with media persons in Rohtas, Bihar as part of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Ramesh said, "When the Modi government brought in three black farm laws, the farmers sat on strike for almost a year. After that, the government withdrew the laws and made many promises to the farmers. These promises have not been fulfilled till date."

He was referring to three laws that the Modi government had passed in June 2020, stating that these would bring reforms to the farm sector. However, cultivators began protesting the legislations in November and ended their agitation after Parliament repealed the three laws in the same month next year.

"Now, when the farmers are coming to Delhi again, the Central government is raining tear gas shells on them and spreading nails on their path. The Modi government is committing huge atrocities on them and doing injustice to the farmer bodies of the country," said the Congress general secretary.

Ramesh, who is accompanying Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in Bihar on the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, alleged that the Narendra Modi government has been sitting on the Swaminathan Commission report since 2014.

One of the key demands of the protesting farmers is the implementation of the commission's recommendation on minimum support price (MSP). In a 2006 report, National Commission on Farmers' chairman M.S. Swaminathan had suggested that the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) fix MSP at least 50 per cent higher than the weighted average cost of production (C2 plus 50 per cent).

Asked why the Congress-led UPA government had not implemented the recommendation, Ramesh claimed that after submission of the report, the then Central government had asked the National Development Council to study it.

"The Centre had constituted a panel of chief ministers, headed by then CM (Narendra Modi) of Gujarat. The panel submitted its report in 2012-13 and it was discussed at length by the then UPA government.

"In September 2013, we (the UPA II government) decided to implement it after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP-led Central government has just been sitting on it since 2014," said Ramesh.

Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who was also present, said Rahul Gandhi has been opposing the electoral bonds scheme from the very beginning, and now the Supreme Court had annulled it on Thursday.

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