Modi stated within the Rajya Sabha that the Congress ought to take pleasure that he needed to do what the previous prime minister wished
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defending the Centre’s new agriculture-related legal guidelines in Parliament on Monday, quoted his predecessor Manmohan Singh on the necessity for reforms within the farm sector.
Modi stated within the Rajya Sabha that the Congress ought to take pleasure that he needed to do what the previous prime minister wished.
Interestingly, via these remarks, Modi was primarily repeating an argument that was first made by a distinguished former spokesperson of the Congress get together — Sanjay Jha.
In an article for The Times of India on 30 September, Jha (who had been suspended from the get together lower than three months earlier) had stated that by opposing the farm legal guidelines, the Congress was “saying goodbye to Manmohanomics”.
He pointed that Congress had pitched for comparable reforms as a part of its 2019 ballot guarantees, and opined that the get together ought to as a substitute declare the credit score by citing its personal manifesto dedication.
Indeed, Congress appears to be struggling to reconcile its current place with its earlier contradictory stands on the identical points.
A glance again on the Congress’ manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha election helps to make clear Jha’s contentions. In the doc, the get together had promised to exchange the Essential Commodities Act by an enabling regulation that may be invoked solely within the case of emergencies. The get together had additionally promised to repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) Act. The doable dismantling of the APMC system is exactly the concern that protesting farmers have expressed in response to the brand new legal guidelines.
However, Congress continues to stridently oppose the Centre’s three new farm legal guidelines. The get together has set a timeline for its state models to launch campaigns towards the laws and report again to the central management.
KC Venugopal, Congress’ basic secretary-in-charge of organisation, has additionally known as for block-level conventions on the farm legal guidelines to be organised earlier than 10 February.
An article by Hindustan Times additionally quotes a letter despatched by Venugopal to state get together chiefs as saying that they need to organise district-level padayatras earlier than 20 February.
It can be clear that Congress’ current place is to hunt a whole rollback of the legal guidelines and never merely pushing for amendments to guard the pursuits of cultivators. The get together’s foremost chief, Rahul Gandhi, stated as a lot on 19 January, when he asserted at a press conference that the ‘solely resolution’ to the present deadlock is repealing the legislations.
However, with the prime minister himself laying emphasis on the Congress’ personal help for much more radical measures than those it’s opposing now, the grand previous get together might discover itself pushed to a nook.
Of course, Congress is just not the one get together that may be accused of political hypocrisy. As Sanjay Jha additional identified within the article quoted above, the BJP is now permitting the very reforms that it vociferously opposed within the UPA years — similar to FDI in multi-brand retail. The BJP, after coming to energy, has additionally pushed forward with UPA-era initiatives similar to GST, Aadhaar, and MGNREGA, regardless of criticising them at the moment.
Nevertheless, the BJP’s criticisms on overseas direct funding and MGNREGA are actually rather more distant recollections, as in comparison with the Congress’ manifesto for the 2019 parliamentary polls. That, mixed with the Congress’ current insistence on complete repeal of the farm legal guidelines, makes the grand previous get together significantly weak to prices of political opportunism.
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