End agitation, hold talks: Modi to farmers

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the farmers to end their agitation and initiate talks to resolve the issue while assuring that the MSP will continue. He also appealed to the farmers to give a chance to the agri reforms and said he was always open to change.
Modi while replying to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, said that the MSP will continue and so will the monthly ration scheme to 80 crore people. Appealing to the agitating farmers to end their protest, he said talks should be held to resolve the issue.
Modi said, “The agri-reforms should be given a chance and MSP was very much there and will continue in the future, and I in the House also say that the ration scheme to 80 crore will continue.”
“The farmers should end their agitation and sit and talk to resolve the issue,” he said.
“There are problems in our agri sector even after record production. We must all work together to solve these problems.
“During the Covid pandemic, we’ve also done record purchasing from the farmers. Thus, we’ve continuously made changes to keep solving problems.”
He said the objections in the House on the farm laws were procedural and even the opposition accepts that the country needs agri reforms.
He quoted former Prime Minister Charan Singh and Manmohan Singh on this: “Manmohan Singh ji is here, I would read out his quote for those taking a u-turn on the farm laws and will perhaps agree with him. ‘There are other rigidities because of the marketing regime set up in the 1930s which prevent our farmers from selling their produce where they get the highest rate of return’. This is what honourable Manmohan Singhji said.”
The Prime Minister said the number of farmers of less than one hectare has risen by 68 per cent and Rs 90,000 crore claim has been disbursed under the crop insurance scheme and Rs 1.15 lakh crore have been given through the Kisan Samman Nidhi.
The Prime Minister said, “It is our intention to remove all those drawbacks which come in the way of India realising its vast potential at becoming one large common market.
“We’ve started a major mission for Foot and Mouth Disease and give special focus to the fisheries sector. We made a ministry and provided Rs 20,000 crore for Matsya Sampada Yojana to gave added impetus to the sector.
“We’ve also started the Sweet Revolution.”
Modi also said that during the Covid pandemic, India has emerged as a ‘pharmacy hub’. “Covid was an unknown enemy and it was impending to save people and the country, and the country has done that. The credit for this goes to the country and not to any government or individual. The people should not joke about the public who lit the lamp in the hope of defeating Covid. The corona warriors have given us a sense of pride. The biggest vaccine drive in the world is now underway in the country.
“The Covid-19 pandemic period has added new strength to our federal structure and the spirit of cooperative federalism…India has seen days when there was a large threat of polio and smallpox. From those days, we are now here when our nation is making vaccines for the world. This has increased our self-confidence.”
He, however, attacked the Congress and Trinamool Congress. “I was listening to Derek ji, he had chosen good words — Freedom of Speech, Intimidation. When I was listening to him, I was wondering if he is talking about Bengal or the country.”
While attacking Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa, Modi said, “Why he did not mention the Emergency and 1984 in his address.”
The PM said, “The more opportunities we provide to India’s youth, the better it will be for our future. The new National Education Policy tries to provide our youth with new opportunities.
“70 per cent loans from the MUDRA Yojana have been provided to our women. Over 60 lakh SHGs including seven crore women are adding to the idea of a self-reliant India.
“Aatmanirbhar Bharat is only possible when everyone participates in it. The government, during Covid, tried to ensure that the women across the country did not face any major challenge.
We must not forget what happened in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast. All of these have hurt the nation in one way or another.
“Thus, we have worked swiftly to solve all these problems. India’s strength has always been of finding solutions to problems and opening new roads. There are some people who want to create instability and trouble, and we must not forget what happened to Punjab during Independence and during 1984,” said Modi.

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