Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday tore into the opposition over the protests against the new agri-marketing laws, accusing them of playing tricks against the farmers. The attack comes when thousands of farmers are gathered at the entry points of the national capital, seeking the repeal of the three laws, which Modi called historic.
“The farmers are being misled on these historic agriculture reform laws by the same people who for decades have misled them,” he said, referring to the opposition parties but not directly naming them. Modi was addressing a public meeting in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, where he was scheduled to spend several hours.
Modi said apprehensions and protests are being whipped up by those opposing the Acts, adding they are misleading society.
“These same people have in the past played tricks with farmers in the name of MSP, loan waiver and fertiliser subsidy,” he said, adding that farmers have been duped for quite a long time. Efforts are on now to ensure doubling of farmers’ income, Modi said, listing schemes launched for them.
‘PM’s defence shows govt opposed to solving farmers’ demands’
The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) hit out at Modi for his defence of the Farm Bills, saying it shows that the government is completely opposed to resolving the demands of the farmers.
In a statement, the AIKSSC said, “The Prime Minister’s defence of the three farm Bills in his ‘Man ki Baat’ episode shows government is completely opposed to solving demands of farmers.”
It said Modi has called the new farm laws a fulfilment of the farmers’ demand itself, “for higher income”, “giving them new rights and new opportunities” and his utterances is a further insult to the farmers’ hopes that the government will make sincere effort to address their issues and concerns.
“The government is still claiming it has to create awareness about the benefits of the Farm Acts, while farmers are clear that these Acts are only about freedom to the corporate, opportunities for the corporate, income for the corporate, at the cost of farmers,” the AIKSCC said.
It said that all 30 Punjab farmer organisations, the AIKSCC and other farmer groups have correctly decided to unambiguously reject the appeal by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, asking farmers to move to Burari, which they all see as an attempt to restrain them and create an illusion of talks and settlement.
“They have correctly rejected conditional talks, while keeping the doors open for any sincere effort by the government,” it said.
(with inputs from agencies)
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