Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who resigned as cabinet minister on Thursday protesting against the farm bills, said on Friday that farmers were concerned about being squeezed out of the agriculture sector by private players.
Speakinn to NDTV, Mrs Badal said a “rustic farmer”, one among many with whom she had held consultations over the past several weeks, offered Reliance Jio’s aggressive market strategy as an example to drive home his point.
“A rustic farmer gave an example to us… ‘Jio came in, they gave free phones. When everyone bought those phones and got dependent on these phones, the competition was wiped out and Jio jacked up their rates. This is exactly what the corporates are going to do’,” Mrs Badal narrated.
Harsimrat said that she had repeatedly asked the Narendra Modi government to listen to the concerns raised by the farmers and hold open discussions with them before tabling the three bills that were passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
“I have been saying please don’t bring in a law which is perceived as anti-farmer. How can you bring in something without taking into consideration the people’s perception? I tried to convince them but my words weren’t enough. Maybe my voice was not loud enough,” she said.