Modi invites farmers for talks

New Delhi: As the farmers’ protest against three contentious farm laws entered its 78th day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited them to resolve their issues through discussion with the government, clarifying that these acts are “optional and not compulsory”.

Making the announcement in the Lok Sabha while delivering his speech on Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, he said that the government respects the farmers and will always honour them in future too.

He appealed to the farmers to avoid rumors being spread against the three farm laws as well as the Central government and discuss their issues without hesitation to break the deadlock persisting even after several rounds of talks between the two sides.

The Prime Minister assured thousands of farmers sitting on agitation at different Delhi borders since November 26 that the government would give utmost respect to their logical suggestions and accept those which would be in their benefit.

Stressing said that these laws were passed by the Parliament as reforming the agriculture sector was the need of the hour, he asked if they had snatched the benefits which the farmers were getting earlier.

“There is no restriction on anyone. These laws do not create obstacles in the growth of farmers. These laws are optional, not compulsory. These acts neither stopped old ‘Mandis’ nor affected purchase of produce on Minimum Support Price (MSP).”

The Prime Minister said that the government had held various rounds of dialogue with the farmers even before they reached Delhi where they are agitating for withdrawal of these laws terming them as “black laws” and “anti-farmer laws”.

“We are still ready to hold further rounds of talks with the farmers with open heart and take their suggestions on these three farm laws,” Modi said.

Reiterating that “neither any ‘mandis’ closed nor purchase on MSP ended after these laws were passed,” the Prime Minister said in contrast, the government has made provisions to increase the number of mandis in this budget and the purchase on MSP has also increased compared to previous years.

The opposition created a ruckus when the Prime Minister was delivering his speech with Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury repeatedly disrupting his address, and Modi said that this “uproar is an attempt under pre-decided strategy”.

Dubbing Congress a “confused party’, the Prime Minister claimed that “neither this party can do good for itself nor to the country”.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Lok Sabha)

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