Talks still ongoing, our 303 seat mandate for change, to push for (agricultural) reforms: Tomar

Written by Harikishan Sharma, P Vaidyanathan Iyer | New Delhi |

16 December 2020 04:43:03





“The MSP is being implemented through an administrative decision of the government. It was in place in the past, is in the present and will continue in the future. We have made it clear that no one should have any doubts about MSP,” says Tomar.

ENCOUNTERING agricultural laws as an economic and political imperative, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday that the government would invite farmers to protest for talks the day they return with their response to the concessions offered.

In an interview with The Indian Express, Tomar linked the laws to the “303 seat mandate,” which he said was given to the government not just to stay in power but to effect change.

He cited demonetization and GST as first-term reforms that were opposed but which, Tomar said, were transformative and were rewarded by a stronger majority in 2019.

Narendra Modiji ne pehle karyakaal mein bhi bahut reform kiye… Login ne kaha notebandi hai ab ulti ginti shuru, GST hai toh ulti ginti shuru… Doosre karyakaal mein, Narendra Modiji ko 287 ke sthaan par 303 seat dekar jitaya. Iske maine yeh hai ki Narendra Modiji se desh yeh chahta hai ki jo sudhaar rajneetik swarth ke chalte, dabav-prabhav ke chalte, jo badlav desh mein aaj tak nahi aa paya vote bank ki rajneeti ke kaaran, us sey upar karamen “ He said.

(Even in the first term Modi made a lot of reforms and there were people who after demonetization and GST said that the countdown to his government had begun. But in the second term the people voted for Modi and gave him 303 seats versus 287 seats. in 2014. This means that people want Modi to undertake reforms that have long been ignored due to political pressure, vested interests, and voting bank considerations. “)

Asked about the next steps to defuse the continuing stalemate with farmers, Tomar said informal talks were underway with some agricultural leaders, and he was awaiting a response from them on the government proposal sent on December 9.

“I am ready to send them an invitation once they are back on the changes proposed by the government,” he said. Tomar has made it clear that the government will not repeal the agriculture laws, but he is confident of an early resolution in the coming days.

“We are ready to review the provisions of the laws that farmers feel are not in their best interest … But they don’t want to discuss the laws clause by clause … During the discussions, I realized that they had some other concerns related to the combustion of stubble and the electricity bill, which we are also willing to discuss, “he said.

When asked why the government did not give up in Parliament when some of these changes were requested by opposition members, or referred him to a select committee, Tomar said: “These are small acts, which have been discussed and debated for years. Only complex legislation is referred to a select committee or a standing committee. Even under the UPA regime, the then Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture were ready to undertake these reforms. There was a broad consensus among all political parties and states, which discussed it with farmers and other stakeholders.

During the day, Tomar held discussions with BJP National President Kisan Morcha Rajkumar Chahar about the ongoing protests. Later in the evening, members of Uttar Pradesh’s Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) met him in Krishi Bhavan and welcomed the new agricultural laws, stating that these will be beneficial to farmers. They also presented a memorandum to the Minister of Agriculture with suggestions on agricultural laws and the minimum price of support (MSP).

In a separate development, a delegation of parliamentarians from Haryana’s BJP met with Minister Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The delegation presented a memorandum calling for the swift completion of the Satluj Yamuna Link Canal so that Haryana can obtain its share of the water from Punjab.

Dharambir Singh, BJP MP from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, who was part of the delegation, told The Indian Express: “We presented a six-point charter that included requests such as the early construction of dams on the Yamuna River and the completion of the SYL.” .

This is the second time in the past two days that the leaders of the Haryana BJP have raised the issue of the SYL with Union ministers. On Monday, a delegation of parliamentarians from the state’s BJP and MLA raised the same request during a meeting with the Union’s agriculture minister.

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