Opposition misleading farmers, govt open to talks: Hardeep Puri


CHANDIGARH: Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said that the Centre has addressed all the major concerns that farmers had raised earlier be it that of the MSP or the mandis, but was still prepared to hold further talks with them if they have any grievances with regards to the three farm laws.

He said demand for the repeal of the three laws was added after the Centre had conceded all other demands.

Addressing a virtual kisan sammelan, he said that both Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, as chief ministers of respectively Punjab and Haryana, had endorsed reforms in the agriculture sector previously. All these reforms were being debated and discussed for long.

“Now that the NDA government has legislated them both, Badal and Hooda, are opposing it,” he said. He said when the bills were brought to Parliament for discussion, fears were expressed by the House on two counts, MSP and mandis. On both the counts the government had assured the House that the MSP and the mandis would continue to function as usual. To dispel the misleading impression on the MSP, the Centre this time preponed procurement of paddy at a higher rate and procured 20 per cent more than that of the last year.

He said that the Centre had held four rounds of talks with farmer leaders so far and was open to hold more talks, if needed. “Privately all farmer leaders agree that their grievances have been resolved, but there seems to be pressure from other quarters that is making them not to withdraw their agitation,” Puri said. He said that the Opposition parties had been instigating and misleading farmers to carry on their protest.

“A misleading propaganda is being done that farmers’ land would be captured in the contract system. It is a completely wrong impression. The acts talk about the produce of the farmer, not about his land. The Acts in fact empower farmers and protect all his interests,” he added.