New Delhi September 18th
A day after the resignation of his Cabinet Minister Harsimarat Kaur Badal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said accused the Opposition Congress of spreading “misinformation” and “lying” to farmers over the new farm bills. Addressing a rally in poll-bound Bihar after inaugurating a railway bridge, the prime minister defended the set of new bills and termed them farmers’ “shields”.
“Farmers have been given new independence in agriculture. They’ll now have more options and opportunities to sell their produce. I congratulate them on the passage of Bills. It was necessary to bring these to protect them from middlemen. These are farmers’ shields,” PM said during a virtual rally for Bihar
Referring to the Congress party’s Opposition to these new bills, the prime minister said that those who ruled the country for years were trying to mislead the farmers. “People who ruled this country for decades are attempting to mislead the farmers on this issue. They are lying to the farmers,” Modi said, asking farmers not to be misled.
“Fake news is also being spread that wheat and rice etc will not be procured by government agencies from farmers. This is an absolute lie, completely wrong and an attempt to deceive farmers,” he said forcefully.
“I appeal to all farmers across the country to beware about all those who are raising a false alarm about farm issues. And so I say this again – beware of all those who are trying to misguide you and instigate you. All they want to do is keep you in your misery and exploit the old system.”
The remarks from PM Modi has come a day after Akali Dal’s only Union Minister Harsimarat Kaur Badal resigned from her post in solidarity with farmers who are protesting against the Modi government’s three new farm bills — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
The Opposition has been claiming that the Modi government is trying to bring back the “Zamindari system” and do away with the minimum support price (MSP) by bringing these new bills. The government, however, rejected the Opposition charges and said that the new bills will allow farmers to sell their produce directly to companies.