Mumbai: Slamming the Centre over the passage of farm bills in Parliament, Congress leader and Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat on Tuesday said the government was trying to “enslave” farmers to select industrialists and encouraging “company raj”.

Thorat, who heads the state Congress unit, alleged the BJP-led NDA government has been taking “anti-farmer” decisions since it came to power in 2014.

“The Modi government is trying to enslave farmers to select industrialists by passing agricultural bills for the benefit of his industrialist friends by suppressing democracy and violating rules of Parliament,” Thorat said in a statement.

The passage of the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 in Rajya Sabha on Sunday amid unprecedented unruly scenes has created a political storm.

Following the ruckus, eight Rajya Sabha MPs from Opposition parties, including three of Congress, were suspended.

The government had dubbed the bills as the biggest reform in agriculture.

“The new law brought by the Centre is an attempt to hand over the agricultural sector to a few companies and encourage Company Raj in this sector as well,” Thorat stated.

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s love for farmers is “superficial”, Thorat said the former had done nothing for farmers other than making big announcements and “false” promises.

PM Modi had announced to double the income of farmers and a remunerative price for farm produce based on 1.5 times the cost of production, but agriculturists are not getting even the basic price for their crops, he alleged.

Thorat also said the Union government was trying to dismantle the federal system by encroaching upon the rights of states, “as agriculture and marketing are state subjects”. (PTI)