‘Farms Bills for your benefit, don’t be misled’: PM Modi to farmers
Amid ongoing farmers protests across several states over agriculture bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lashed out at the Opposition for attempting to misguide the farmers on the legislation. While addressing a virtual meeting after the launch of a railway bridge project for poll-bound Bihar, PM Modi hailed the passage of two farm bills in the Lok Sabha on Thursday as a “historic day” in the field of agriculture reforms. He further asserted that the agricultural reforms will liberate the farmers from many restrictions and will provide a protective cover for them.
Tearing into the Opposition, he said that lies are being spread that the farmers will not get the right prices for their produce.
“Misinformation is being spread that farmers won’t get right prices. They are forgetting how aware the country’s farmers are”PM Modi
“Misinformation is being spread that farmers won’t get right prices. They are forgetting how aware the country’s farmers are,” PM Modi said.
His remarks came a day after Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as Union Minister of Food Processing Industries from the NDA government over the farm bills. Her resignation came in light of the recent passing of the three Farm Bills – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 – in Lok Sabha. While the Akali Dal, which is one of the oldest allies of BJP, has termed the bills as “anti-farmer”, the Congress, leading the Opposition attack in Lok Sabha on Thursday, called the bills “draconian”.
Speaking during the video-conference on Friday, PM Modi said that not only the Bills will liberate the farmers from restrictions but will also provide them better alternatives and more opportunities to sell their produce.
“The middleman between the farmer and the consumer would always pocket a large share of the farmer’s income. To save the farmer from the middleman, it was necessary to bring these laws. These will now be a shield (rakshakavach) for the farmer,” he added.
Attacking the Congress, the Prime Minister highlighted that Opposition parties who are currently opposing the reforms had also promised changes to the provisions of the agricultural market in the APMC Act in their election manifestoes during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
PM Modi further affirmed that the government is committed to providing fair prices to farmers for their produce through MSP (Minimum Support Price). He also stated that while government procurement will continue as always, with the new provisions, farmers will be able to harvest their crops and sell at any desired price in any market across the country.
He called upon the farmers to be vigilant of those trying to mislead them on the legislations, adding that those forces aim to exploit the old system.
“I appeal to all farmers across the country to beware about all those who are raising a false alarm about farm issues. And so I say this again – beware of all those who are trying to misguide you and instigate you. All they want to do is keep you in your misery and exploit the old system,” he added.
Over the past few days, farmers from several parts of the country including Punjab and Haryana have taken to the streets, agitating against the Farm Bills. Meanwhile, the three bills are slated to be taken up for discussion and passage in the Rajya Sabha on September 20.