Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the agitating farmers to end their protests they have waged against the three farm laws. He assured them that the system of Minimum Support Prices or MSP as it is commonly known, will remain unchanged. He also took a jab at the opposition by referring to former PM Manmohan Singh as he derided what he called the Congress’s “u-turn” on farm reforms.
“End your protests and we will all sit together and talk. We are ready for talks and I am inviting you again for dialogue from this House,” PM Modi said in the Rajya Sabha.
Since the past several months thousands of farmers have been sitting in protest on highways outside Delhi against the new contentious farm laws. The farmers say that these new laws will erase the MSP system and leave them at the mercy of corporates.
However, the Prime Minister said that it is not the case, and it will remain intact.
“MSP tha, MSP hai aur MSP rahega (Minimum Support Price will remain). No one should spread misinformation,” he asserted, adding, however, that he was willing to take the brunt if it meant pushing reforms that were long overdue.
“We need to move forward, not backward. We need to give these reforms a chance.”
Despite several rounds of talks between the farmers’ associations and the government, the political gridlock hasn’t been resolved.
PM Modi, on the other hand came down on the opposition parties for derailing a truce between the farmers and the government. PM Modi also pointed out the silence of the opposition on the core issues associated with the farmers’ protests.
The PM also highlighted that the number of marginal farmers with small land holdings had gone up since 1971 from 51 per cent to 68 per cent.
“Today, there are 86 per cent farmers who have less than two hectares of land. That means 12 crore farmers. Doesn’t the country have any responsibility towards these farmers?”