Opposition misguiding farmers, Centre 24 hours ready to resolve doubts, says Narendra Modi in Gujarat

The prime minister made the remarks at Dhordo in Kutch after laying the foundation stones for development projects, including the world's largest hybrid renewable energy park, a desalination plant and a milk processing plant

FP Staff December 15, 2020 18:59:11 IST
Opposition misguiding farmers, Centre 24 hours ready to resolve doubts, says Narendra Modi in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narednra Modi in Gujarat's Kutch. ANI

As the protests by farmers against the Centre's three agri laws at the borders of Delhi continue for the 20th day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday alleged that the Opposition parties were "spreading falsehoods and misleading farmers" and said his government is addressing the farmers concerns.

Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony at development projects in his home state Gujarat, Modi said, "Farmers gathered near Delhi are being misled as part of a conspiracy. Farmers are told that their land will be grabbed by others if new farm reforms get implemented. I want to ask you, did the dairy owner take your cattle because you are selling milk to him," the prime minister said.
"Opposition parties, when they were in power, were in favour of these farm sector reforms, but did not take any decision back then. Now when the country has decided to embrace these reforms, these people are spreading falsehood and misleading farmers. I want to reiterate that my government is ready 24 hours to resolve all your doubts," Modi said.
The prime minister made the remarks at Dhordo in Kutch after laying the foundation stones for development projects, including the world's largest hybrid renewable energy park, a desalination plant and a milk processing plant.
Modi also met delegations of farmers from Punjab settled in Kutch district as well as local cultivators and heard their issues with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani accompanying him. Sikh farmers cultivate land in areas near the Indo-Pak border.

Modi also interacted with a group of local women from a self-help group at the venue.

As per a rough estimate, around 5,000 Sikh families reside in and around Lakhpat taluka of Kutch district. Sikhs started settling in Lakhpat after the then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri urged citizens to settle in this barren patch of land after the 1965 India-Pakistan war.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere have been protesting near various border points of Delhi including, Singhu and Tikri for over a fortnight demanding the Centre repeal three new farm laws: the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehensions that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The Centre has repeatedly sought to allay fears over the new farm laws and asserted there will be no tinkering with the existing MSP regime.

With inputs from PTI

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