Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly asserted that they have brought “freedom” to farmers and given them a “protection shield”, as he accused the Opposition of standing with middlemen and “misleading” peasants by “lying” to them. He made these remarks while defending the farm sector reform bills.
With opposition parties dubbing the three bills, passed by Lok Sabha and now to be tabled in Rajya Sabha, as “anti-farmers” and the Bharatiya Janata Party ally Shiromani Akali Dal quitting his government to protest them, Modi refuted their criticism, describing these proposed laws as “historic” and stating that they will unshackle farmers by allowing them to sell their produce anywhere at a better price.
Speaking at the virtual launch of several rail projects in Bihar, Modi chose to speak at length on these bills, which have sparked protests by farmers in states like Punjab and Haryana, and sought to assuage concerns of the farming community by assuring them the government procurement of their produce will continue and so will the minimum support price.
“This misinformation is now being spread that the government will not give MSP benefits to farmers. Manufactured claims are being made the government will no longer purchase wheat, rice and other grains. This is a blatant lie aimed at deceiving farmers,” Modi said.
In the 21st century, these bills are the need of the country, he said, adding that farmers will no longer remain in shackles and sell his produce wherever they want.
Launching a blistering attack on the Congress without naming the party, Modi said those who ruled the country for decades are “deceiving and misleading” farmers by spreading misleading and “lying” to them on the provisions of these bills, which seek to replace ordinances brought in by the Centre.