Bihar elections: Will the anger of farmers outweigh the NDA?

Posted on 26th Sep 2020 02:20 pm by rohit kumar

Blue tractor, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on the driver's seat, elder brother Tej Pratap sitting side by side on the roof on the tractor, and a shovel in the side.


Although the portrayal of the photo looks filmy to you, but its script is political.


Among the pictures that were coming from all over the country, this picture from Bihar says a lot in itself. Especially when the date of the Bihar election was announced on the same day.


This picture is enough to tell that the farmers of Bihar may or may not feel affected by the new agriculture bill, but the opposition is bent on making it an issue in the coming elections.


The Congress party is also engaged in capitalizing on this issue. On Thursday, the media in-charge of the party in Patna Randeep Surjewala demanded the resignation of Nitish Kumar at a press conference.


He said that the minimum support price system is being abolished by the new agriculture bill and the provision of government purchases and mandis is being removed. That is why the Congress party is giving its support to the farmers' chakka jam.


Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had to come out in support of the bill amid opposition from opposition parties of Bihar on the new agriculture bill.


Talking to the media on Thursday, he said, "The situation in Bihar is second. We finished APMC in 2006. There was no problem in selling goods to any farmer. Earlier, the purchase of food grains was not done in Bihar. We got it started. Unnecessary misconceptions are being created about this bill. This bill is in favor of the farmers. "


A day earlier, former JDU Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi told the Indian Express newspaper that his party is in support of the new agriculture bill, but he also supports the demand of farmers, which at a lower price than MSP It is a matter of declaring the purchase of crops a crime.


The Bihar Chief Minister's statement supporting the bill came after KC Tyagi's statement.


New agricultural bill and status of Bihar


The APMC Act in Bihar was abolished in 2006. Then what does Bihar have to do with the new agriculture bill?


It is a common belief that opposition to the new bill is not happening in Bihar. But this is half true, not true. APMC means Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee i.e. Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee. Mandis where farmers' crops are sold and bought.


It is true that since 2006, the peasant of Bihar was freed from the clutches of the mandis. But the farmers' fight against the new agriculture bill is not on the government mandis, but on the MSP. While different political parties and state governments are also telling the issue of opposition to APMC.


On September 25, when farmers across the country decided to jam the wheel, they had only two demands. The first is that the MSP means to buy the crops of the farmers at the minimum support price, whether it is the government or the industrialists and the second demand is that buying crops below the MSP is considered a crime.


This was stated in a conversation with All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) convenor VM Singh with the BBC. This is the same organization that has announced this flywheel jam.


What is MSP?


To protect the interests of farmers, the minimum support price (MSP) system has been implemented in the country. Even if the price of crops falls according to the market, even then the Central Government buys the crop from the farmers only at the fixed minimum support price so that the farmers can be saved from damage.


The MSP of a crop is the same in the whole country. The Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, determines the MSP based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices CACP). Under this, 23 crops are being purchased right now.


These 23 crops include crops like paddy, wheat, sorghum, millet, maize, moong, groundnut, soybean, sesame, and cotton, out of which paddy, wheat, and maize are more cultivated in Bihar. That is why it is believed that the farmers of Bihar are not angry, this is not completely true.


What about farmer vote bank?

Journalist Surur Ahmed, who closely monitors Bihar's politics, says, "When this bill came in the Corona era, neither the politicians nor the journalists were able to know about its effect. All the houses were imprisoned. But now that people are slowly starting to come out, now when people are talking to people in tea shops, local trains, and the moving market, it is possible to guess how angry the farmers are.


Now in Bihar, there is a perception about this bill. Earlier, the people of Bihar used to understand that where farmers grow so many crops, which could sell Punjab and Haryana. As much as they grow, they keep more of it for themselves, and those who are left simply sell it in the local market.


But slowly, an environment is now being seen against the agricultural bill, but it is not that it should be the biggest issue. The economy of Bihar is agriculture-based. But the bigger issue is employment for the youth of Bihar.


This is the reason why RJD is explaining to the public by linking the new agriculture bill with migration and unemployment. When RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took to the streets during the farmers' agitation on Friday, he told the people, "In 2006, the APMC ended, due to which the farmer did not get the right price for the crop, so the farmers had to flee."


In 2006, Bihar Chief Minister was Nitish Kumar


Caste factor in Bihar election


But it is also true that along with issues in Bihar politics, the 'caste factor' also has its importance.


On the caste factor, Suroor Ahmed says, "Up to five years ago, the BJP was considered a party with cities, which had more support of upper caste. This thinking has changed a bit now. JDU has some Kurmi votes, some urban votes, and some There are votes of the backward classes. The Rashtriya Janata Dal is considered to be the party of Yadavs and Muslims, who also have the support of some Koiri and Kurmis. Among the caste people who own land in Bihar, mainly Kurmi, Yadav, Bhumihars and Rajputs. Dalit farmers work on the land of these upper caste people. If these land people are in support of new agriculture from Nitish, then BJP will benefit more than RJD. "


But Surur Ahmed also says that if this landowner becomes completely 'neutral' and 'indifferent' during voting, then it can be difficult for NDA. For this, the pattern of voting has to be seen. Whether people go out of their homes in Corona to vote or not.


Dr DM Diwakar, former director of Patna's AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, says, "96.5% of farmers in Bihar are small and medium-sized farmers. Most of them do not grow crops with MSP, but what they grow is true It is that they do not get the minimum support price. If the opposition parties can convince such farmers how the issue of MSP is related to them, then NDA can be hurt. "


The APMC Act has ended in Bihar for the last 14 years. Professor Diwakar believes that nothing good has happened to the farmers of Bihar, in such a situation, the NDA will find it difficult to calculate the benefits of the bill, and the RJD and Congress can take advantage of it.


He goes on to say, "Small and medium land farmers are the traditional vote banks of the Mahagathbandhan and RJD, while the big farmers are the vote banks of the NDA and the BJP. The entire vote of Kurmi, Bhumihar, and Rajput in Bihar no longer gets NDA It is a divided vote bank. But on the other hand, there is more Yadav and Muslim vote with RJD. There is little manipulation of the Dalit vote. Backward vote bank also votes for RJD a little bit, in which resentment about little NDA is."


According to Dr. Diwakar, the Nitish government is already facing 15 years of anti-incumbency. The second problem is the anger at the resentment of the students and for not giving the teachers 'equal work equal pay'. The third resentment is the government's treatment of migrant workers in Corona. Now the resentment of farmers is also coming from above. It will now be seen how much the Grand Alliance manages to cash in on all these issues in its favor.


Efforts are being seen from the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, but even the NDA and especially the Prime Minister Narendra Modi are leaving no stone unturned to reach out to the farmers. The impact will be known on November 10, when the results of the Bihar assembly elections will come.

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