NEW DELHI: Farm unions protest Friday raised strong objections to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegation that political rivals were abusing farmers protest to push their agenda.
“The parties rejected by the electorate are pushing their political agenda in a misleading way farmers and using their backs to shoot at the government since they have no logical argument against the new agricultural laws “, PM Modi he said today after releasing over 18,000 crore of Rupees to more than nine crore families of farmers under the “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi” (PM-KISAN).
“Defeated in the elections, these parties now indulge in event management for selfies and appear on television for advertising,” he added.
The Prime Minister targeted the opposition and said that when the unrest began the farmers had some genuine demands such as the guaranteed minimum price of support, but the politically motivated people then took over and started making independent demands such as the release of those accused of violence and making the highways free.
Farm leaders, however, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech appeared as an attempt to “divide and mislead” farmers and said they wanted a legal guarantee on the minimum price of support (MSP).
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s allegations that political rivals were abusing the protest to promote their programs, farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar said unions do not allow any political party to use their platform and accused the government of diverting the question.
Kohar said: “The Prime Minister’s claim that we have been misled by other political parties is false. It has been a month since we protested on the Delhi borders and we have not offered our platform to any politicians.
“Indeed, we have banned them from using our stage. Our protest is not political.”
“In public speeches, the Prime Minister said the MSP will remain. So why is he afraid to give a legal guarantee for it? Why can’t the government give it in writing?”, Shiv Kumar Kakka, a senior leader of Sankyut Kisan Morcha – – an umbrella body of 40 farmers’ unions – told the PTI news agency.
“Prime Minister Modi attempted to divide and mislead farmers during his speech today … in election rallies, he says his government has set the MSP according to the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan committee. But in court, they say they don’t. it was possible to do that, “Kakka said.
All India Coordination Committee Secretary Kisan Sangharsh Avik Saha sought to find out why the central government is not offering a legal guarantee to MSP.
Saha said on Friday the Prime Minister only addressed farmers in six states and wondered why he did not address the issue of peasant protest.
Avtar Singh Mehma, state press secretary, Krantikari Kisan Union (Punjab), said the government’s claim that some farmers are in favor of the three laws is “false”.
“We had targeted political parties such as Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and the AAP before arriving in Delhi. So how can we be misled by these political parties?” Asked Mehma
Entered into force in September, the three agricultural laws were designed by the Center as major reforms in the agricultural sector that will remove intermediaries and allow farmers to sell their products anywhere in the country.
However, protesting farmers expressed fear that the new laws would pave the way for removing the MSP’s safety buffer and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of large corporations.
The center does not want to solve the problems of farmers: Congress
Congress said the government did not want to solve the farmers problem and was trying to “wear them down”.
“The whole country listened to Prime Minister Modi’s clarification on TV today. They say the greater the crime, the greater the clarification and the Prime Minister is doing it, “Surjewala said, arguing that the Prime Minister and his ministers are only giving” clarification “without looking into the plight of farmers.
“For a month, peasants have been protesting near the borders of Delhi in this cold climate. Forty-four of them have already died for various reasons, but the pro-capitalist government has not moved, ”senior congressman Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters on Friday.
“The Prime Minister and the BJP the government is working on the policy of wearing them down. The bitter truth is that the Modi government doesn’t want to solve the farmers’ problem, ”he said.
Surjewala said leaders of the ruling party are branding the peasants as “naxal, terrorists, Chinese and Pakistani agents, gang tukde-tukde”.
Congress is side by side with farmers as it has involved the issue of the lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers in this country, he said.
“This is not a political fight, this is not the BJP fight against Congress, it is not the opposition fight against the ruling party,” he said.
(With agency input)