The Yatra, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 15 from Khunti in Jharkhand, emerged as a transformative expedition fostering connections with citizens nationwide.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday defended government’s policies of the farm laws and referred to his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh on the reforms required in the agricultural sector. He urged the farmers to call off the protests and join the talks with the centre.
Reiterating the government’s stand on minimum support price (MSP), PM Modi in reply to a debate on the President’s Budget session speech said, “MSP tha, MSP hai aur MSP rahega (MSP was there, MSP is there, MSP will continue). Affordable ration for the poor will continue. Mandis will be modernised. No one should spread misinformation.”
He further added, “We need to move forward, not backward. We need to give these reforms a chance.”
He questioned the opposition’s silence on the core issues of the farmers’ protest. He said that the number of marginal farmers with small landholdings had increased since 1971 from 51 per cent to 68 per cent.
“Today, there are 86 per cent farmers who have less than two hectares of land. That means 12 crore farmers. Doesn’t the country have any responsibility towards these farmers?” asked PM Modi.
He highlighted the various schemes for marginal farmers and said that every government had spoken for reforms in the agricultural sector but had taken ‘u-turn’ on it and quoted former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the need for reforms.
“Manmohan ji is here, I will read out his quote. Those taking a U-Turn will perhaps agree with him. There are other rigidities because of marketing regime set up in 1930s which prevent our farmers from selling their produce where they get highest rate of return. It is our intention to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realising its vast potential at one large common market,” said PM Modi in Rajya Sabha.
“You should be proud that Modi is implementing Manmohan Singh’s dream,” he added.
Thousands of farmers who are protesting at Delhi borders against the three farm laws are demanding that the government should withdraw the farm laws and pass legislation for minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.
The government and farmer unions have been holding talks to end this deadlock but the talks have failed to end this protest. The government has refused to take back the laws but has offered to make amendments to them.