The Haryana government is said to have refused to procure crops from farmers of other states after the new agriculture bills came into effect as laws that allow farmers to trade across inter-state borders for better prices.
Reports said some 50 farmers from Uttar Pradesh were trying to enter the state to sell non-basmati rice at the government mandis when they were told to return and proceed the next time only after registering on a state government-run portal.
On the other hand, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said he and the government will safeguard the interests of local farmers and will not worry about farmers of other states. In a video being shared widely on social media, Khattar said the state government will ensure the maize and bajra produce of state farmers is completely bought. The state would not let it happen that farmers from other states will gain by selling in our state, the Chief Minister said.
On September 17, Khattar had praised the farm bills and his refusal of procuring crops in other states came despite the premise of farming legislations hailed in the ruling BJP for promoting barrier-free trade between farmers and buyers.
He accused the Congress for the manner in which they have criticised the three key farm bills saying it was pushed through voice vote in violation of the rules. He also said farmers in Congress-ruled Punjab and Rajasthan are being forced to sell maize and bajra grown without minimum support price.
Meanwhile, farmers’ protests continue in Punjab, Haryana and other states of the country. The protesters are demanding the government pass a law to ensure farmers continue to get a minimum support price even if they are selling to private buyers, including powerful corporates.