Thursday, May 30, 2024

Modi, with ‘folded hands,’ urges farmers to discuss so he could allay fears

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted that any insinuations that new farm laws planned to do away with Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops is “the biggest lie ever”. Modi said he was ready with “folded hands” to discuss every issue with farmers and allay their fears.

Modi said: “I assure every farmer of the country that like MSP was given earlier, it will continue to be given, MSP will not be ended. Those who could not give MSP to farmers, they are misleading farmers over MSP.”

He was addressing farmers in Madhya Pradesh via video as part of the government’s efforts to reach out to the farmers.

“If anyone has any concerns, then with our heads bowed and our hands folded, with humility, we are willing to discuss with them and assuage their fears,” the PM said. Though agricultural reforms were discussed for over two decades by every government, the opposition was misleading farmers.

“These laws were not brought overnight. In the past 22 years, every government, state has discussed them in detail. Farmers groups, agricultural experts, economists, scientists and progressive farmers, have called for reforms. Parties opposing these laws today promised these reforms in their manifestos,” Modi said.

Other parties which could not initiate these reforms are worried that “Modi will get credit”, he said, adding: “Stop misleading farmers.”

In his recent speeches, Modi has tried to explain and argue that the farm laws were for the good of farmers. His Friday’s speech was directly addressed to farmers and was a clear attempt to reach out to them.

In 2018 assembly elections, the Congress had promised in Madhya Pradesh that the party will waive off farm loans if it won. “They said if they win, they will write off all the farm loans for every farmer within 10 days. They do nothing but lie and try to use you with promises, or by playing on your fears,” Modi said.

He referred to a report by MS Swaminathan Commission on Agricultural Reforms as the proof of “how ruthless” successive Congress governments had been. “These people sat on the Swaminathan Commission report for eight long years,” he said. They deliberately kept this vital report under wraps so that they did not have to spend anything on farmers, Modi argued.

“In the new farm laws, the Centre has only stated that whether the farmer sells his produce in the market or outside, it will be his will,” Modi said, adding that not a single market has been closed after the new laws were enacted.

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