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Dilli Chalo protest | Opposition misleading farmers, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the inauguration of widened Prayagraj-Varanasi section of NH-19, in Varanasi on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Amid farmer protests in and around the national capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused the Opposition of spreading a false propaganda that the new farm laws would bring adverse consequences for the farmers.

He said the agricultural reforms introduced by his government would provide farmers with new options, and legal protection against fraud and cheating.

Also read: Audio feed in Rajya Sabha was hit for 20 minutes during debate on farm Bills, says CPWD

Speaking at an event in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, Mr. Modi explained the measures taken by his government in the interest of farmers and assured “farmer families that still have some concerns” that the government was making all efforts to resolve them.

If the farmers were apprehensive about the government’s policies, behind it was a long history of deceit they faced, he said. And it was the habit and compulsion of those who broke their promises and cheated farmers to spread lies and fear. He was confident that farmers who had doubts about the reform laws today would benefit from them and increase their income in the future.

Watch | Why are the farmers protesting?

Mr. Modi said that whenever a policy or law was introduced by the government, some would support it, but it was also natural that some questions would arise. “This is part of democracy. And in India, this has been a living tradition.”

However, he said, a new trend had emerged in recent times. Earlier, if a government decision was not welcome, there would be protests against it. But now, the opposition was not to the government decision itself, but based on apprehension and misconception that “something will happen in future,” Mr. Modi said.

Also read: Will the farm bills benefit farmers?

Ab prachar kiya jata hai ki faisla toh theek hai. Lekin pata nahi, iss se agay chalkar kya kya hoga aur phir kehte hai, aisa hoga [Now, the propaganda is, the decision is correct but who knows what will happen in the future? And then they say, [adverse] things will happen],” Mr. Modi said. “Jo abhi hua hi nahi , jo kabhi hoga hi nahin, usko lekar samaj mein bramh failaya jata hai [Misconceptions are spread about things that have not happened and will never happen].

“This game is being deliberately played even in the matter of agricultural reforms,” he said.

The Prime Minister asked farmers to recognise that those “misleading” them on the farm laws were the same people who for decades had deceived them on the issues of MSP, fertilizers and loan waivers.

Earlier governments would declare the MSP for crops, but only a little would be purchased at that price; huge loan waiver packages would be announced, but the benefits would not reach small and medium farmers; big schemes would be introduced, but they [the government] themselves would admit that only 15 paise out of a rupee would reach the farmers, Mr. Modi said.

The new laws don’t prevent farmers from selling their produce under the old system. Earlier, the small farmers would be cheated and their produce would not even reach the mandis. Farmers would now get legal protection from cheating and betrayal, he said.

Lies were earlier spread about the PM-KISAN scheme too, that the government would stop paying the instalments after the Lok Sabha election and ask farmers to repay the amount along with interest, he said.

In an apparent reference to West Bengal, which goes to the polls in a few months, Mr. Modi said that one State that was talking of farmers did not allow the PM KISAN scheme to be implemented for fear of political loss.

“I would like to tell the farmers of that State that in the coming days, whenever our government is formed there, I will ensure they get this money,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 4:23:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dilli-chalo-protest-pm-attacks-oppn-parties-says-they-play-tricks-on-farmers/article33213135.ece

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