By Pramod Kumar Jha
New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) Amid the ongoing farmers agitation along Delhi’s borders, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary, said that farmers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari are in favor of the new Union farm laws. However, farmers from certain regions have fallen into the trap of the opposition parties which are instigating them.
The Minister said that the people camping at the borders of the national capital do not represent the farmers of the entire country, but they instead include people indulging in politics in the guise of protesting farmers.
He said the majority of the farmers have come out in support of the agrarian reforms.
The farmers’ agitation has been going on for the last four weeks at the borders of Delhi against the three farm laws enacted by the Narendra Modi government. The protesting farmers are adamant on repealing the laws.
In a conversation with IANS, Kailash Choudhary was asked: When the farmers do not need such farm laws, then why is the government imposing the laws on them? To this question, Choudhary responded, saying, “Farmers from all over the country, right from Kanyakumari in the south to Kashmir in the north and from the border of Rajasthan in the west to West Bengal in the east, are in favor of all the three farm laws, but farmers from specific regions are being misled over these laws. But we hope that if they, too, become aware of the benefits of the new laws soon, then there will not be any question of protest.”
Choudhary told IANS that there are apprehensions about the future due to the reforms, but they have started yielding results and the farmers of the country are happy about them, so the negativity surrounding these laws will not last for long.
On the other hand, the protesting farmers say that it is not just the issue of farmers in Punjab and Haryana, but an issue of the whole country.
Responding to the question asked in this regard, Kailash Choudhary said, “For the last 15 days we are seeing that farmers all over the country are continuously talking to the Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and lending their support to the new farm laws while saying that if the new farm laws are withdrawn, they will come out on the streets in protest.”
Kailash Choudhary, who is one of the younger ministers in the Modi government, is identified as a farmer leader. He was also the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party Kisan Morcha for a long time in Rajasthan.
He added, “Farmers provide us food and the Modi government is working for the interests of the farmers. Therefore, the government is willing to change the provisions in the farm laws that may harm the farmers, but tell me how this will affect the farmers.”
Kailash Choudhary is an MP from Barmer in Rajasthan and has been associated with farming and agricultural-related work. Recently he created an app in his name to be abreast of the problems of farmers and the common people and find solutions for them.
The Union Minister said that he is well aware of how the bidding for farmers’ produce takes place in the mandis run by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) and how they are forced to sell their crops at low prices.
He said the Central government has given them an option in the new farm laws to help them sell their crops at a higher price so that the competition increases by which the working of the APMCs will also improve. He informed that the provisions in the farm laws related to contract farming are also in the interests of farmers and its benefits will be seen in the coming days.
The Central government has done what was being demanded for a long time, the Minister added.
Why is there a protest then? To this question, Kailash Choudhary said those governments who were earlier in power failed to usher in agricultural reforms but the Modi government did so, so they (opposition parties) are opposing it by pushing the farmers to the forefront.
Choudhary was optimistic about the farmers agitation ending soon. He said that several rounds of talks have been held with the representatives of the farmers’ organisations and they will soon come to an amicable solution about the farmers’ issues.
By Pramod Kumar Jha