Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke on the farm laws again, pointing out their positives, as his ministers scrambled to discuss the mammoth protest against the new laws. Camping at Delhi borders, the farmers, angry over Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s conditional proposal for early talks, have threatened to gherao the national capital.
Reaching out to farmers, who have accused the government of making the new laws for the benefit of corporates, he said: “I know that decades of falsehood do put apprehensions in the minds of farmers… I want to say this from the bank of Mother Ganga – we are not working with the intention of deceiving. Our intentions are as holy as the water of river Ganga”.
“If someone thinks that the earlier system is better, how is this law stopping anyone, bhai?” he added, in a bid to reassure farmers that the new open market system will not mean the end to the traditional mandis and support prices fixed by the government.
The reforms have given farmers new options and safeguards, he said during an address at an event in his home constituency, Varanasi. They are giving farmers better access to markets — both national and international.
“Farmers should get full profit from international markets. India’s farm produce is famous across the world. This big market and more money – shouldn’t they (the farmers) have this in reach?” he said.
“Earlier, any transactions outside a mandi were considered illegal. This was against small farmers who could not even reach mandis. Now even the smallest of farmers can legally operate outside mandis,” he added.