Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday once again tried to justify the new farm laws brought by his government. The move comes at a time when thousands of farmers have hit the streets against the farm laws and the Centre’s negotiation attempts failed to end the stalemate.
PM Modi said that the farm laws were not something that was brought overnight by the government. He said that the reforms introduced through the farm laws were long overdue as other governments failed to implement them. PM Modi said this while virtually addressing the farmers of Madhya Pradesh.
He also assured that the existing system of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) and the minimum support price (MSP) will continue. Notably, APMC and MSP are the two primary concerns of the protesting farmers.
PM Modi attacks Opposition
Political parties, agriculture experts and progressive farmers demanded such agri reforms for long, he said and attacked the opposition for misleading cultivators on the issue of MSP (minimum support price) and APMCs.
Opposition parties, when in power, sat over the Swaminathan committee report for years, but the BJP-led government implemented its recommendations in the interest of farmers, the PM said as the ongoing protests by cultivators outside Delhi entered the 23rd day.
Coming down heavily on those misleading farmers, Modi said, People should seek replies from those who have talked about these reforms in their manifestos for long but never implemented them. “If they want to take credit for these farm laws, they should do so, but they should stop misleading farmers on the issue by spreading lies, he said.
Discussion with farmers failed
Notably, several rounds of discussions between the Centre and the agitating farmers’ leaders have remained inconclusive. While the Centre is promising amendments in the three farm laws to pacify the farmers, the latter is not ready to settle down for anything less than the scrapping of the contentious laws.
In fact, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the government is ready to have a clause by clause discussion with the farmers.
SC asks govt to put farm laws on hold
The Supreme Court had on December 17 asked the Union government to consider putting the controversial farm laws on hold. It reiterated its suggestion to constitute a committee comprising of all stakeholders for negotiations to put an end to the stalemate between the protesting farmers and the government.
Thousands of farmers are camping on the outskirts of Delhi for the past three weeks in protest against the farm laws. Over 20 farmers have died in road accidents and due to the cold wave that has engulfed northern India.
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