Oppositions spreading lies to instigate farmers: PM Modi in Varanasi
New Delhi/IBNS: Amid continuous protests by the farmers in and around Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday defended the Centre's farm laws and accused the oppositions of spreading lies and falsehoods.
In an address from Varanasi after attending the Dev Deepawali festival at Rajgha, PM Modi said: "The new farm laws will provide new alternatives and new legal protections to the farmers. The new farm laws' implementation doesn't mean discarding the old system."
"If someone thinks that the earlier system is better, how is this law stopping anyone, bhai?" he added, in a bid to assure the protesting farmers that the new open market system will not mean the end to the traditional mandis and minimum support prices fixed (MSP) by the government.
"India's farm produce is famous across the world. This is a big market and it means more money -- shouldn't they (the farmers) have this in reach?" the PM asked adding: "Now all small farmers can opt for legal protection to save themselves from manipulation and corruption."
The Prime Minister also took a dig at the oppositions for instigating the farmers by spreading lies and falsehoods.
"Whenever any government adopts a new law, there are opposition views to the same. But for some time, I have noticed there has been a new system of instigating protesters with manipulation and lies."
"Oppositions are 24*7 employed in spreading lies today. They start instigating the farmers even before the laws have been implemented," he said.
"We should remember these are the same people who for decades have deprived the farmers and have manipulated them in the name of MSP and Yojnas," warned the PM taking a veiled dig at the previous Congress-ruled government.
PM Modi had spoken in favour of the farm laws at his monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat' too on Sunday, however, the same resulted in only irking the farmers more.
"Just to keep corporates happy, they have done this... They could not find any logic so they said they have made 'One nation One Market'," a farmer leader had told media.
Farmers, who are protesting against the Narendra Modi government's contentious farm laws, have now threatened to block roads to New Delhi from five points, further intensifying their agitation.
The farmers have threatened to block roads from Sonipat, Rohtak, Jaipur, Ghaziabad-Hapur and Mathura.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier said the government will hold early talks with the farmers if the protests are shifted to a designated venue. Rejecting such a proposal, the farmers had said they will accept no condition from the government to hold talks.
The government had earlier set Dec 3 as the date for the talks with the farmers, who are crystal clear over their demands for a repeal of the laws.
Centre invites farmers for talks tomorrow:
On Monday night, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar invited farmers' unions for discussion at 3 pm on Tuesday citing cold and coronavirus.
"On November 13, we had decided we will meet on December 3, but farmers are in a mood to protest," Union minister Narendra Tomar said.
"It is cold and there is coronavirus. Hence we invite them kisan union heads to Vigyan Bhawan on December 1 at 3 pm. We request you to leave the protest and find a solution through discussion," he added.
One of the protesting farmers died last night after suffering a heart attack -- the second since the farmers' march to Delhi started last week.
The Centre's new farm laws will now allow farmers to sell their produce to institutional buyers beyond the regulated wholesale market.
However, farmers and opposition leaders criticised the Centre's move stating small peasants will have little bargaining power while selling their produce to institutional buyers, running the risk of getting exploited.