'Govt under misconception that only Punjab, Hry farmers in battle against agri laws'

New Delhi: Raising questions over the Centre's offer to suspend the farm laws instead of repealing them, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday said the government is under a "misconception" that only the farmers of Punjab and Haryana are in this "battle" and asserted that tillers across the country want the scrapping of the "repressive" legislations.

He said that if the farmers' agitation is not dealt with empathetically by the government, it will soon spread to different parts of the country.

Soren also said the impasse between the government and the farmers over the new agri laws was tarnishing India's image at international forums.

After making the farmers suffer on the streets for months, the central government has suggested to suspend the three contentious farm laws for one and half years instead of repealing them completely, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president said.

"The government is under the wrong impression that only the farmers from Punjab and Haryana are in this battle. They are living with a big misconception. Farmers across the country, be it Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Northeast or any other place, have the same sentiment," Soren said.

"They (farmers) are all connected to the ground. We have seen similar protests last year on NRC-CAA, which started at the university level but later engulfed the whole country," he said.

If farmers feel so strongly why doesn't the government withdraw the laws, asked Soren and alleged that the Centre was showing a "dictatorial attitude".

The farm agitation if not empathetically dealt with and resolved by the Centre, will soon spread to different parts of the country, he asserted.

"The new farm laws are repressive. They legitimise black marketing and hoarding. I can't support these laws. How is it possible that the highest offices of the central government can't figure out a working solution to the demands being put by the protesting farmer bodies in almost two months?" Soren said.

Asked if the Jharkhand government will pass a legislation to nullify the farm laws as done by some states ruled by the Congress, he said his government is closely observing the developments and will wait to see the final decision of the Centre in this regard.

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