Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday took on his predecessor Sharad Pawar for a series of tweets from a day ago, in which the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief had assailed the central government’s new farm laws that have triggered widespread protests.
“Sharad Pawar ji is a veteran politician and a former Union Agriculture Minister, who is also considered well-versed with the issues & solutions relating to Agriculture. He has himself tried hard to bring the same agriculture reforms earlier,” Mr Tomar wrote in a series of tweets.
“Since he speaks with some experience and expertise on the issue, it was dismaying to see his tweets employ a mix of ignorance & misinformation on the agriculture reforms. Let me take this opportunity to present some facts,” he said, posting a table with responses to Sharad Pawar’s nine-point critique of the laws.
Since he speaks with some experience and expertise on the issue, it was dismaying to see his tweets employ a mix of ignorance & misinformation on the agriculture reforms. Let me take this opportunity to present some facts. pic.twitter.com/8CZ1AzKYoR
— Narendra Singh Tomar (@nstomar) January 31, 2021
“As he is such a veteran leader, I would like to believe that he was genuinely misinformed of the facts. Now that he has the right facts, I hope he will also change his stand & also explain the benefits to our farmers,” Mr Tomar tweeted.
The comments came a day after Mr Pawar, who was the Union Agriculture Minister for 10 years in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, on Saturday said the new central laws will adversely affect the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and weaken the mandi system.
The 80-year-old veteran politician, whose party commands a significant share of the agrarian vote in Maharashtra, posted six tweets amid escalating tensions between the government and farmers protesting the laws that peaked on Republic Day after violent clashes with the police as sections of their massive tractor parade strayed off agreed routes.
It was also seen as a counter to the BJP which has been attacking the opposition Congress and its allies like the NCP for their support to the farmers’ movement, claiming that similar reforms had been planned for years before Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office.
Mr Pawar said he virtually participated in the all-party meeting with PM Modi in which issues related to the proposed agenda for the budget session, farmers’ agitation, women’s bill and other important issues were discussed.
Supporting the farmers stand that the new laws will result in loss of income, Mr Pawar had posted the table with nine-points where he felt the new laws deviated from the longstanding plans for reforms.