The government has introduced three new farm ordinances, one of which got passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Union Cabinet Minister for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal announced her resignation over disagreement with the government over these ‘anti-farm’ bills. President Kovind early this morning accepted her resignation and assigned Narendra Singh Tomar the portfolio.
The three farm bills are Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (promotion and facilitation) bill, farmers (empowerment and protection) agreement on price assurance and farm services bill, and the Essential Commodities (amendment) bill. The Essential Commodities Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Farmers across the country are protesting against these bills as these reforms seek to ‘liberalise’ the agricultural sector. These bills will also repeatedly do away with the MSP (Minimum Support Price) which is a form of agricultural intervention by the government which ensures farmers fair prices for their produce.
Harsimrat Kaur’s resignation would mean fresh tensions in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal alliance. SAD Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has confirmed that these bills will not have the party’s sanction. Other opposition parties have also said that they would be voting against the bills.
Harsimrat Kaur on Thursday announced her resignation on Twitter.