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Let’s talk, find a solution: PM to farmers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 08, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha during ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, February 8   -  PTI

Narendra Modi slams Opposition for U-turn on farm laws; asks people to isolate destructive foreign ideologies

Strongly defending the three farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that  the government will ensure progress for small and marginal farmers. He urged people to identify and isolate “destructive foreign ideologies and certain people who make a living by holding protests”.

Modi attacked the Opposition for making a U-turn on the issue of reforms in the agriculture sector. He asked the Congress to honour former PM Manmohan Singh who, he said, had initiated precisely these reforms.

“He spoke about one large common market. These laws are in that direction. You should be proud that Modi is doing what Manmohan Singh had suggested,” he said.

Modi said new ideas are always opposed in the beginning. “Even during the Green Revolution, there was opposition. The Left at the time said Green Revolution was being done to serve American interests. Even now, they are using the same language. But the then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri stood his ground and that’s why we are not dependant on any other country for foodgrains,” he added.

‘Ready to hear’

Modi said the Centre is ready to hear suggestions. “We will accept if there are any suggestions. Let’s work together,” he said, adding that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is in touch with the farmers. “Stop the protests. Take the elders back home. Let’s talk and find a solution,” he said.

The Prime Minister said reforms should be given a chance. “If there are any mistakes, we will rectify them,” he said. He warned against the misinformation campaign on the MSP. “The MSP was there, MSP is there and MSP will be there. It will be continued. Please do not spread misinformation,” he said.

On the PDS, too, he said foodgrains will be given to people at a subsidised rate as is done now. “If we continue to stick to our limited political issues, we will be pushing farmers back to dark ages. We will have to think about it,” he added.

Also read:‘Chakka jam’ by farmers largely peaceful

“There are people who make a living by organising protests. We need to identify and isolate such people,” he said and maintained that “foreign destructive ideologies” are dangerous.

Opposition hits back

The Opposition parties and farmers’ unions slammed Modi. “We were expecting Modi to repeal the three farm laws. The protests are going on for more than 75 days.  Instead, he said no one knows the problems of these laws and the protests are unwanted,” said Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said people are protesting for saving their lives and for their security, for greater opportunities and ensuring better livelihood. “Protesters are patriots not parasites. Those who grab power on the strength of protests are…,” he said.

Also read: Modi claims conspiracy to defame Indian tea, pitches for tech institutions teaching in mother tongue

 

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha condemned what it termed was an “insult” to farmers by Modi. “Farmers would like to remind the PM that it is andolans (public movements) that liberated India from Colonial rulers and that is why we are proud to be andolan jivi (protesters). It is the BJP and its predecessors that had never done any andolan against Britishers and they were always against the andolans, they are scared of public movements,” the SKM said. 

 

Published on February 08, 2021

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