Modi government farmer friendly, Centre open to talks with farmers: Anurag Thakur

Anurag Thakur

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government is farmer-friendly, Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday said that the Central government not only increased the MSP and procurement but also build more mandis and is working towards increasing the income of the farmers, adding that the government is always open for talks while referring to the ongoing farmers’ agitation.

His remarks came on a day when the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha held a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar which was addressed by Bharatiya Kisan Union (Arajnaitik) leader Rakesh Tikait. Responding to a question on Tikait’s remarks that farmers will not end their agitation till their demands are fulfilled, Thakur told reporters here today, “Senior ministers of the Government of India held not one but 11 rounds of meetings with farmers. Detailed discussions were held on the issue. The agriculture minister, many times in various press briefings had said that the government is always open to discussions. The government has continuously raised the minimum support price (MSP). The government increased the price as well as the procurement. There has been a record increase in the MSP as well as the procurement by the government. All this has been done in the interest of the farmers.”

Asserting that the farmers’ agitation against the three new farm laws shall continue until the Central government fulfils their demands, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Arajnaitik) leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday said that the farmers will not leave the Delhi borders till “they emerge victorious”.

Earlier in the day, addressing a Kisan Mahapanchayat here today organized by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, Tikait had said, “We take a pledge that we will not leave the protest site there (at Delhi’s borders) even if our graveyard is made there. We will lay down our lives if needed, but will not leave the protest site until we emerge victorious.”

“When the Government of India will invite us for talks, we will go. But the farmers’ agitation will continue until the Government fulfils our demands. The struggle for Independence continued for 90 years. This agitation, it seems, will also go on for long,” the BKU (Arajnaitik) leader had said.

Thakur stated that more mandis have been built under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and these mandis have been connected through the facility of National Agriculture Market or eNAM.

“Some people are spreading misinformation that mandis will be closed. Which mandi was closed in the last two years? They (farmers) say agri produce will not be procured on MSP. On the contrary, procurement on MSP was higher this year. Modi government is farmer friendly. The Modi government changed the name of the agriculture ministry to agriculture and farmers welfare ministry. The Modi government started working for the welfare of the farmers and also increased their income,” said the Union Minister.

Thakur stated that even as the prices of fertilizers increased in India and the world, the Central government did not let the farmers bear the burden.

He further said, “When the prices of fertilizer doubled in the world as well as in India, despite this the Modi government ensured that not even the burden of a rupee is borne by the farmers. It is the Modi government that paid higher prices to the farmers, procured more and saved the farmers from the burden of increase in the prices of fertilizers.”