Bhupesh Baghel asked farmers to increase cultivation of oilseeds and pulses (File)
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said his government will hold a special assembly session and pass a law to ensure that farmers in the state are not affected by the new farm laws of the Centre.
Addressing a virtual rally of farmers and Congress workers, he also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading farmers on the issue.
Farmers in many states are protesting against the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
"These laws will have an (adverse) impact on farmers. Therefore we have to convene a special session of the assembly to bring a law to ensure that farmers and labourers of Chhattisgarh do not get affected by these central farm laws," the Chief Minister said.
"The study is underway and officials have been working on it. Ministers have been looking into it. The day the proposal is presented before me, the schedule of special assembly session will be declared," he said.
He also asked farmers to increase cultivation of oilseeds and pulses to ensure their sufficient availability in the state, expressing fear that after the implementation of the new law on essential commodities, hoarding of these commodities will increase.
"PM Modi has said store in your godowns as much as you can. It means traders will not focus on paddy purchase this time, but rather they will procure pulses, oilseeds, onion, etc. Prices of oilseeds and pulses may increase. You (farmers) should keep stock of oilseeds and pulses so that you can get good returns from traders," the chief minister said.
Mr Baghel also claimed that whatever PM Modi says, exactly opposite happens.
"Note ban was brought with a promise to unearth black money, but instead it facilitated conversion of black money into white. GST resulted in collapse of small and medium traders," he said.
"Now PM Modi is saying these laws are in the interest of farmers but these laws are only meant to benefit the big businessmen," the chief minister alleged.
He also dared the prime minister to declare that no procurement of farm produce will be done below the support price fixed by the Centre.
"Along with his 'one nation, one market' policy, he (the prime minister) should also ensure "one rate". If he does so, I promise him on behalf of farmers in the entire nation that there will be no protest," Mr Baghel said.
Congress in-charge for Chhattisgarh PL Punia alleged at the rally that the new farm laws were enacted on the suggestions of big industrialists, without consulting farmers' unions.