Except for Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, the presence of farmers’ organisations on the roads to enforce the bandh was not largely noticeable.

NEWS DELHI: Calling Opposition parties hypocrites, Union minister Prakash Javadekar, in an exclusive interview to The Daily Guardian, said that the Narendra Modi government is committed to the betterment of farmers. He also said that all parties which are protesting today are the ones who have been asking for repealing the APMC Act when they were in power.


 Q: Farmers have called the Bharat Bandh along with support from most of the Opposition parties.

A:“I see that today’s movement is born out of misunderstanding among the farmers, which we (government) will correct, but we have no complaints against the farmers, but the Opposition parties, which till 2014 were speaking differently, today they have taken a U-turn. It was Sharad Pawar, and the UPA, who had made the law with the model APMC, then he was right, how did it go wrong today? The law was passed and implemented, and some 10 states which were ruled by UPA accepted it. The law said of Contract Farming came into force during the rule of Congress, and it was implemented in the states where Congress was in power. In 2010, Rahul Gandhi talked about changes in the APMC law, now how can he say that the changes made by the present government are wrong. The Congress has written in the manifesto of 2019 about the implementation of these three laws in a way, so how can they get rid of it now. It is just politics the Opposition is doing. And this politics is understood by everyone, it will not benefit them in any way.

Q: Farmers have said that the new farm laws will end the ‘mandi system’, they are also worried about ‘contract farming laws’. How will the government deal with it?

A: There is already a contract farming law in Punjab, which is not cancelled yet. There is a law for contract farming in 20 states; APMC will remain, it is not written anywhere in the law that APMC will be locked up, and the second demand that MSP will remain or not, that too remains. In fact, it has increased for the first time in a while, after the implementation of the farmers’ bills. Modiji has given MSP a profitable price. The Swaminathan Committee also declared that this benefit has been received. And farmers will also understand the facts, when their doubt gets cleared.

Q: The PM said in his public address that the three farm laws are very good for farmers. Five meetings have been held between the government and farmers, but no breakthrough has come. What is the way forward?

A: The farmers are a significant part of democracy. There has been a misunderstanding among them that we (government) will overcome. And if something has to be amended in the bills, it will be improved; the government has already said this officially. The three farm laws will benefit the farmers. The Opposition is spreading misinformation, but I am confident, that the government will dispel the myths. That is why I think, this is democracy and we should move in this sequence. The grand old party in its 2019 general elections manifesto had promised similar reforms. The Congress’ hypocrisy on the farm laws is exposed.


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