Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 18
In his strongest attack against the Opposition parties on the farmers’ agitation to date, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday strongly defended the farm laws, which are at the core of ongoing farmer protests, and slammed his rivals for “spreading lies” about them “because his government had done what they had been promising to farmers for years but never gave”.
“These laws were not made overnight. Over the last 20 to 30 years, every government and state has discussed these in detail. Farmer groups, agricultural experts, economists, scientists and progressive farmers have called for these reforms. Parties opposing these laws today promised these reforms in their manifestos,” he said addressing the Kisan Kalyan event in Madhya Pradesh, a part of the government’s outreach to farmers amid protests on Delhi borders.
Urging the political parties to “stop telling lies and misguiding farmers”, the PM said it had been six to seven months since the laws were implemented but now suddenly his rivals were trying to plough political land through a web of lies.
“I request all political parties with folded hands, please keep all the credit. I don’t want it. I am giving credit to all your old election manifestos. I just want ease in the life of farmers…I want their progress and want progress in the agriculture sector.”
Talking of the various benefits, including the increased MSP on various foodgrain and the number of beneficiaries, the Prime Minister said: “There is no scope for lies in the laws and the intentions of his government were as pure as Gangajal and the waters of Narmada”.
“Those who do could not give farmers MSP properly, are today spreading lies about MSP, the APMC mandis and contract farming. No ‘mandi’ has been closed for past six months, then why are they spreading lies? There is no connection of land in the contract then why are they misleading the farmers?” Modi said.
“Beware of these who are trying to mislead you on what has not happened nor is going to happen. I want to tell the farmers with all humility and with folded hands that if still they have issues, we can call them. The Swaminathan Commission report is the biggest proof of how ruthless these people can be. These people sat on the Swaminathan Commission report recommendations for eight long years. They ensured that their government does not have to spend much on farmers, so they kept report under wraps,” he said.
“If we had to remove the MSP, why would we implement the Swaminathan Commission report,” he questioned.