New Delhi: In a fresh overture to agitating farmers against new farm laws on Delhi borders for the past 23 days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared all their misgivings and apprehensions. In his 53-minute address, he said the government was ready “with our heads bowed, our hands folded, with humility” to allay any concerns over the issue.

The Prime Minister, however, asserted that the farm laws were not brought overnight and even opposition parties advocated the need for such laws but now criticising these reforms as they are upset because Modi has done it.

During his address to farmers of Madhya Pradesh through video conferencing, PM Modi stepped up his attack against the opposition parties, saying “their problem is how Modi has done it and why Modi should get credit for it. I request all political parties with folded hands, please keep all the credit. I’m giving credit to all your old election manifestos. I just want ease in the life of farmers, I want their progress and want modernity in agriculture.” 

He also talked in detail about various provisions of the new farm laws, including minimum support price (MSP), and said the talk that the new laws will lead to its scrapping is the “biggest lie ever”. The Prime Minister also took potshots at those spreading lies about Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs), and said farmers are free to sell the produce in the existing APMC mandis. “Not a single mandi was closed in the last six months. In fact, the government is spending Rs 500 crore on their modernization,” he said.

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Referring to contracts between private entities and farmers, PM Modi said such agreements existed earlier too, adding the new law makes such agreements more binding on private entities, and they can not run away from their commitment to the farmer even if they suffer a loss. Citing the data, he told them what the MSP for crops before 2014 and how it has changed now. 

He said if the government had to abolish the MSP, it would not have implemented the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission on the MSP, cautioning the farmers against the lies spread by opposition parties about the news agricultural laws. 

The Prime Minister said that he will address the farmers again on December 25, adding that farmers waiting for the disbursal of funds under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme would get it on that day.

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