PM Modi says prepared for talks to dispel doubts

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18

Even as the All-India Kisan Sabha on Friday announced it would join the farmers’ protest on Delhi borders, PM Narendra Modi stoutly defended the new farm laws, saying these had been in the works for decades and those opposing the laws now were once votaries of the same. “How much more will they betray the innocent farmers,” he asked, addressing the Kisan Kalyan Sammelan in MP via the virtual mode.

“These laws were not made overnight. Over the past 20-30 years, every government and state discussed these in detail. Farm groups, agricultural experts, economists, scientists and progressive farmers have called for these reforms. Parties opposing these laws today promised these reforms in their manifestos, made statements in their favour,” he said.

Urging the parties to “stop telling lies and misguiding farmers,” he said it had been six-seven months since the laws were implemented and a majority of farmers were happy with the reforms. “I request all political parties with folded hands, please keep the credit. I don’t want it, I just want farmers’ progress,” the PM said.

Emphasising that the intentions of his government were as pure as the Gangajal, he said those who had lost their political space in the country were misleading the farmers that they would lose their land. As the farmers’ agitation against the new laws at Delhi’s borders entered the 23rd day on Friday, the PM reiterated that his government was willing to hold talks. “Despite the government efforts, if anyone has any doubt over the farm laws, we, with folded hands and heads bowed, are ready for talks,” he said.

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