Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday assured the farmers that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism for crops would continue while inviting the union leaders for a fresh round of talks to resolve the impasse over the farm laws.
Replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in Rajya Sabha, PM Modi said, “MSP was there. MSP is there. MSP will remain in the future. Affordable ration for the poor will continue. Mandis will be modernised.”
“Our Agriculture Minister is talking to the union leaders. There is no tension and through this House, I am inviting them again but one would have to take a step forward to resolve the issue,” the PM said.
Questioning Opposition parties for their “U-turn” on the agriculture reforms, PM Modi read out a quote by former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
“There are other rigidities because of marketing regime set up in 1930s which prevent our farmers from selling their produce where they get highest rate of return…It is our intention to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realising its vast potential at one large common market,” Modi said.
The PM also hit out at those behind the protests, saying a new “breed” of agitators had emerged in the country and the country should be aware of them.
“A new entity has come up in the country — ‘Andolan Jeevi’. They can be spotted wherever there is a protest, be it agitation by lawyers, students, or labourers, explicitly or implicitly. They cannot live without ‘andolan’, we have to identify them and protect the nation from them,” the PM said.
PM Modi also said the country needs to guard against a new FDI — “foreign destructive ideology”. “The nation is making progress and we are talking about FDI but I see that a new FDI has come to the fore. We have to protect the nation from this new FDI. We need Foreign Direct Investment but the new FDI is ‘Foreign Destructive Ideology’, we have to protect ourselves from it,” he said.
Modi also stressed that India was very proud of the contribution of Sikhs. “This is a community that has done so much for the nation. The country takes pride in the contribution of Sikhs, but some people are trying to defame them,” he said.