Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday (February 13) responded to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s charge that Congress has taken a ‘U’ turn on agricultural reforms, by sharing a 2011 statement made by then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi which talked about the need for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the benefit of farmers.
“‘We should protect farmer’s interests by mandating through statutory provisions that no farmer-trader transaction should be below MSP’ – recommends the Report on Consumer Affairs under Chairmanship of Gujarat CM @narendramodi in 2011. What about this U-turn, Madam FM @nsitharaman?” Ramesh tweeted, along with screenshots of the report.
A day before, Sitharaman had responded to Congress’ tirade against the government over farm laws by attacking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and his party for “U-turns” in their support of the farmers, who have been demanding the repeal of the laws.
“I wanted to know from the Congress why it took a U-turn on the farm laws but no reply came,” she said, arguing that Congress had in the past supported similar reforms. The FM also asked Rahul Gandhi why the Congress governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh did not waive farm loans, as promised in their manifestos.
Sitharaman also questioned Rahul Gandhi’s understanding of the new agriculture laws. “Have APMCs (mandis) been closed after the introduction of the Farmers Act? He (Mr Gandhi) was speaking like they had been… They (the new laws) are also helping improve the condition of APMCs. He (Mr Gandhi) is insulting everyone… whether President, Prime Minister or Speaker… constantly lying and insulting the country,” said Sitharaman.