Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday attacked opposition parties saying they were “lying” to farmers. Modi claimed the NDA government was doing what “they” (the Congress) had promised in their manifestos.
Modi said the bills were “necessary” to safeguard farmers from middlemen.
The prime minister was speaking after inaugurating the Kosi mega bridge in Bihar.
“Farmers are now given new independence in agriculture. Now, they will have more options and opportunities to sell their produce. It was necessary to bring these bills to protect them from middlemen. These are farmers’ shields,” Modi said in a virtual message after inaugurating the bridge.
In an apparent dig at the Congress party, he said that those who ruled India for decades are now “lying” to farmers.
He claimed that those who objecting to the bill had promised to remove the contentious APMC Act in their election manifestos.
He also cited an example of how Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had got rid of the same Act. Modi promised that the government will continue to buy farmers’ produce. He also asserted that the claim that MSP benefit will no longer be given is “fiction”.
“This is a blatant lie, wrong, a betrayal with our farmers,” Modi stressed. He added, “our government is committed to providing the right price to our farmers through MSP (minimum support price). We were (committed) before, we are today and we will continue to remain in future,” the prime minister said.
The assertive clarification by the prime minister comes a day after the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the union cabinet protesting against the farm-related bills. The Modi government brought three major bills related to the agricultural sector while the opposition protested their introduction.
The first bill is the Essential Commodities Act while the second one is on Farm Produced and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) which allows everyone to buy and sell agricultural products. The third bill is on Farmer (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services which legitimates contract based farming.
Meanwhile, the Congress yesterday upped its ante against the Modi government over the issue, terming it a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution.
Slamming the government, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said: “This government has been eyeing how to take over farmers’ land for the benefit of their capitalist friends.”
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