Union Minister Smriti Irani speaks to ANI in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo/ANI)
Union Minister Smriti Irani speaks to ANI in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo/ANI)

Opposition trying to disrupt peace, law and order: Smriti Irani on Bharat bandh

ANI | Updated: Dec 08, 2020 15:29 IST

New Delhi [India], December 8 (ANI): Accusing them of "imposing" the Bharat bandh for "political gain", Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said that the opposition parties were trying to disrupt peace, and law and order in the country in the name of the farmers' protest.
"The opposition, which could not get to power through people's support and votes, is infuriated and is trying to disrupt the law and order situation for political gain. We have seen scenes where workers of the opposition parties are forcefully shutting down shops and markets. The country does not want bandh. But a bandh on the opposition's misguided policies and corruption," the Minister for Textiles and Women and Child Development told ANI here.
Irani reiterated the ruling BJP's commitment towards the minimum support price (MSP) and claimed that the opposition parties have been spreading rumours about the MSP and APMC.
"When the Bill was tabled before the Parliament, the opposition tried to spread rumour about the MSP and APMC. They claimed that the government will close the APMC markets. Nothing of that sort happened. The Government of India did not even touch the APMC law," Irani said.
"The government had assured that it will continue procurement at MSP. As a result, till December 5, the government procured 336 lakh metric tonne rice from 33 lakh farmers. As many as 60 per cent of the farmers who benefited from this are from Punjab," she added.
Irani further said that the opposition parties do not want reforms in the agricultural sector or the welfare of the farmers. "The fact that 33 lakh farmers participated in MSP operations after the Bill was passed is a sign that they trust the government," she said.
"When their (UPA-II) government was in power from 2009 to 2014, they only did MSP operations worth Rs 3 lakh crore. However, in the last six years, the (Narendra) Modi government has done MSP operations worth Rs 8 lakh crore," Irani said, adding that the opposition is infuriated because the money is now directly going into the bank accounts of the farmers.
Irani also criticised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying that despite accepting the recently enacted farm Acts, against which the farmers were protesting, he was supporting the strike. "He notified a gazette. A gazette is notified when the government accepts a law administratively and politically. So, he has given his acceptance already," she said.
About Congress leader Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over the farmers' protest, Irani said his brother-in-law, Robert Vadra, has "looted" the farmers' land. "Why was he missing from debates in the Parliament on these Bills? Why did he say that APMC should be changed," she added.
The farmers, who have been protesting at the borders of the national capital for 13 days against the farm laws, have called for a Bharat bandh today.
Meanwhile, farmer leaders have held several rounds of talks with the government but all of them remained inconclusive so far. After the fifth round of talks, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has called another meeting on December 9. (ANI)