PM defends farm laws, says decades of deceit have made farmers fearful

Prime Minister Modi blames Opposition for spreading rumour, reassures farmers that the new open market system will not mean the end to the traditional mandis and minimum support prices fixed by the government.

As farmers continue to protest over the new farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, twice in as many days, spoke about the government›s intention behind the farmers’ laws and how the Opposition parties are spreading rumours and tricking the farmers. Earlier in the day, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar met Home Minster Amit Shah for 40 minutes as the government continued to brainstorm over the farmers’ protests.

In Varanasi to inaugurate the six-lane widening project of the Varanasi-Prayagraj, PM Modi said, “I know that decades of falsehood do put apprehensions in the minds of farmers, I want to say this from the bank of Mother Ganga—we are not working with the intention of deceiving. Our intentions are as holy as the water of river Ganga. If someone thinks that the earlier system is better, how is this law stopping anyone, bhai?” he added, in a bid to reassure farmers that the new open market system will not mean the end to the traditional mandis and minimum support prices fixed by the government.

Continuing on the alleged “duplicity” of the past, the PM said, “MSP was declared, but a very meagre MSP purchase used to take place. This deception went on for years. Large loan waiver packages were announced in the name of farmers, but they did not reach the small and marginal farmers.” He added that big schemes were announced in the name of farmers, but the earlier regimes themselves believed that out of 1 rupee, only 15 paisa reached the farmer, which is deceit in the name of schemes. “When history has been full of deception, then two things are natural. The first is that there’s ‘decades of history’ behind the farmers being apprehensive about the promises of governments. Secondly, it has become a compulsion for those who break the promises, to spread the lie that what used to take place before, is still going to happen.” He said, “When you see the track record of this government, the truth will come out automatically. The government delivered on the promise of stopping the black marketing of urea and giving enough urea to the farmers. The government delivered on the promise of fixing MSP at 1.5 times the cost in line with the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission. This promise was not only fulfilled on paper, but has reached the bank account of the farmers.” Criticising the Opposition, the Prime Minister said, “These are the people who used to raise questions about PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, spreading the rumour that this money is being given in view of the elections and after the elections, the same money will have to be given back with interest.” PM Modi added that in a state, where the opposition government is there, due to its political interest, farmers are not allowed to take advantage of this scheme. He said assistance is being provided directly to the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmer families of the country. The Prime Minister said decades of deceit make farmers apprehensive, but now there is no deceit, work is being done with intentions as pure as “Gangajal”. He remarked that the truth of those who spread illusions on the basis of mere apprehensions is being constantly exposed before the country. He added the government is also constantly answering those farmer families who still have some concerns. He expressed confidence that those farmers who have some doubts on agricultural reforms today, will also take advantage of these agricultural reforms in future and increase their income.