RS to discuss MSP, farmers' issues today

RS to discuss MSP, farmers' issues today

BJP chief Amit Shah will lead the charge from the treasury benches by opening the debate

BJP President Amit Shah reacts in the Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. (RSTV GRAB via PTI)

Opposition and BJP will lock horns in Rajya Sabha on Thursday over farmers issue when it takes up a short duration discussion on the recent government announcement on increase in minimum support prices (MSP) for Kharif crops.

BJP chief Amit Shah will lead the charge from the treasury benches by opening the debate with the "historic" increase in MSP, while the Opposition is all set to counter it citing that it had not fulfilled its 2014 poll promise of implementing M S Swaminathan Commission recommendation.

The BJP will also seek to punch holes in Opposition attack over rising farmers' suicides in the country by referring to the incidents in Opposition-ruled states like Karnataka, party sources said. Shah and other ruling side MPs will also highlight the government schemes aimed at improving the condition of farmers in the country.

Sources in the Opposition said they will leave the government bleeding on the farmer's issue by questioning the government, especially on the claims on MSP. If the MSP is very impressive for farmers, a senior Opposition leader told DH, then why is the sowing of crops is lower by around 10-12% this season.

The Opposition will also use the occasion to highlight the challenges and crisis in the agrarian sector and corner the government on its claim that it will manage to double the income of farmers by 2022.

Shah leading the debate from the BJP side is part of a strategy to send a signal to farmers, who are upset with the BJP-led state governments, especially in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. With MP and Rajasthan are going to polls later this year along with Chhattisgarh, BJP feels an urgency to address their concerns.

Besides Shah, notices on the subject have also been given by Bhupender Yadav and Amar Shankar Sable (BJP), Prasanna Acharya, Pratap Keshari Deb and Bhaskar Rao Nekkanti (BJD), Manoj K Jha (RJD), Binoy Viswam (CPI) and V Vijayasai Reddy (YSR Congress).