Union minister Ramdas Athawale, in an interview with news agency IANS, said that farmers will suffer the most if the three farm laws are withdrawn. He, however, added that everyone has the right to protest in a democracy.

 Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Athawale said, “The solution to the peasant movement can be found. But the leaders of the farmers are not ready. When there is a dialogue between the agitators and the government, the two sides will have to take two steps back. Then the middle path can be found. But the movement has created a deadlock due to politics.”

Athawale emphasised on finding a solution to the movement through dialogue. He said, “The government is ready to make amendments. Even then, if the farmer leaders continue to adopt a stubborn attitude by adding new demands, then they will harm the farmers only. I think this is an anti-farmer movement.”

A Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra and the national president of the Republican Party of India (A), an ally of the NDA, Athawale said that he has full sympathy with the farmers who had been agitating along the Delhi borders for several days in the cold.

The government is also sensitive to the problems of the farmers. A proposal is being made by the government, and farmer leaders should also consider this proposal positively, he said.

The minister said, “When Narendra Modi has become Prime Minister twice on the strength of the farmers, why would he bring a Bill against the farmers? Farmers’ income has been doubled. If someone wants to sell outside, they should get the rights. Given all these points, the three new agricultural laws have been brought in the interest of the states.”

The new law does not contain any provision to close the markets, he said, adding that the MSP will continue as before. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also reiterated the same. The role of the government is to help the farmers and farmer leaders should also come up with a compromise formula, he added.

The farmers from Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh have been sitting on protest at the Delhi-Haryana’s Singhu and Tikri border and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh Ghazipur border for the last 20 days. Several rounds of talks between the farmers and the government have failed to yield any result.

 The three laws are The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. They had first come in the month of June as the three Ordinances before being approved by Parliament during the Monsoon Session by a voice vote.

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