NEW DELHI, Nov 30: Even as the protest by the farmers against the three recent agricultural acts continued on the borders of Delhi for the fifth day and some volunteers set up a Corona testing camp amidst the protesters as a precautionary measure, the prime minister Narendra Modi reiterated on Monday that the new agricultural reforms have given farmers new options and new legal protection and at the same time the old systems continued if someone chose to stay with it.
The medical camp was set up at the Singhu border on the Haryana side to help the farmers as several volunteers doctors at the amp reported that most of the protesters were neither wearing protective masks nor honouring social distancing norms creating apprehensions of becoming super spreaders of the pandemic which has already infected over 9.4 million people in the country.
Inaugurating a six-lane widening project of the Varanasi – Prayagraj section of NH-19 in his Parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, Modi lambasted the opposition claiming that the farmers were being deliberately misled with imaginary fall-outs of the government’s decisions that had not happened and would never happen.
“Earlier the decisions of the government were opposed but now the criticism is based on mere apprehensions. He said confusion is spread in society about what has not happened yet, which will never happen. He said these are the same people who have consistently tricked the farmers for decades,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister arrived in his parliamentary constituency in the morning where he inaugurated a number of infrastructure projects and attended a Dev Deepawali event. Shortly after landing at Babatpur airport, Modi reached Khajuri for his first public engagement where he dedicated to the nation the widened Handia (Prayagraj)-Rajatalab (Varanasi) section of National Highway 19. Modi began his speech with “Har Har Mahadev” chant and wished extended greetings of Dev Deepawali and Guru Purnima.
Modi said the farmers were not to be blamed for getting misled. “Decades of deceit make farmers apprehensive and they feel that every government is there only to deceit them. But now there is no deceit, work is being done with intentions as pure as Gangajal,” Modi claimed and asked “reforms are being carried out in the interest of farmers, which will give them more options. Shouldn’t a farmer get freedom to sell his produce directly to those who give them better prices and facilities?”
Continuing on the duplicity of the past, the Prime Minister said MSP was declared, but a very meager MSP purchase used to take place. This deception went on for years. Large loan waiver packages were announced in the name of farmers, but they did not reach the small and marginal farmers. He added big schemes were announced in the name of farmers but earlier regimes themselves believed that out of 1 rupee, only 15 paisa reached the farmer, which is deceit in the name of schemes.
The Prime Minister said when history had been full of deception, two things were natural to happen. “The first is that there is decades of history behind the farmers being apprehensive about the promises of governments. Secondly, it has become a compulsion for those who break the promises, to spread the lie that what used to take place before, is still going to happen.”
Appealing to the farming community to check the performance of his government, Modi said “when you see the track record of this government, the truth will come out automatically. This Government delivered on the promise of stopping the black marketing of urea and giving enough urea to the farmers. The Government has also delivered on the promise of fixing MSP at 1.5 times the cost in line with the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission. This promise was not only fulfilled on paper, but has reached the bank account of the farmers,” he added.
The Prime Minister said India’s agricultural products were famous all over the world. He asked why farmers shouldn’t have access to this big market and higher prices. He said new agricultural reforms have given farmers new options and new legal protection and at the same time the old system also continued if someone chose to stay with that. He said earlier, transactions outside the mandi were illegal but now the small farmer can take legal action on the transactions outside the mandi also.
Criticizing the opposition, the Prime Minister said, these are the people who used to raise questions about PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, spreading the rumor that this money is being given in view of the elections and after the election the same money will have to be given back with interest. He added that in a state, where the opposition government is there, due to its political interest, farmers are not allowed to take advantage of this scheme. He said assistance is being provided directly to the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmer families of the country. So far, about 1 lakh crore rupees had reached the farmers.
Lauding the performance of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, Modi claimed that ever since the BJP government came to power in the state in 2017, UP’s retarded progress had been expedited and he state was now being called “Express Pradesh.” He said the farmers too would benefit from the infrastructural development of the state and the country in being able to reach their produces in the market speedily.