Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, addressed the Rajya Sabha during the motion of thanks to the President’s address. He addressed the concerns and questions raised by opposition leaders over the farm laws.
The address began with praises for former Prime Minister Deve Gowda for his inputs during the discussion in Parliament. Referring to farmers in the country, the Prime Minister said, “Since 2014 we have initiated changes in the agriculture sector aimed at empowering the farmer. The crop insurance scheme was changed to make it more farmer-friendly. The PM-KISAN scheme was also brought in. We are working for small farmers.”
Stating that there is a need to uplift the small and marginal farmers, PM Modi said that the government has strived to make their lives better. “The opposition to farm laws lacks in substance. We need to decide if we want to be a part of the problem or the solution. Every government has stressed that there are reforms needed in the farming sector, but now politics seems to be taking over.”
The Prime Minister said NDA’s other schemes also help farmers. He cited the PMGSY as an example and said, “When the road connectivity improves, it enables the production of the farmers to reach distant places. There are efforts like Kisan Rail too. The need of the hour is to improve the lives of the small farmers.”
“Manmohan Ji is here, I’d read out his quote. Those taking a U-Turn (farm laws) will perhaps agree with him. There are other rigidities because of marketing regime set up in the 1930s which prevent our farmers from selling their products where they get the 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,” said PM Modi quoting former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to taunt Congress leaders over the farm laws.
The PM also talked about the support from all the governments for the farm laws. He said, “Sharad Pawar ji, and those from Congress, everyone… all governments have stood for agricultural reforms. Whether they were able to do it or not, but everyone has advocated that it should be done.”
‘MSP tha, MSP hai aur MSP rahega.’ (MSP was there. MSP is there. MSP will remain in the future) was reiterated in Rajya Sabha by the Prime Minister making it clear that the MSP system was here to stay.
The two Houses — Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha — have seen repeated adjournments over the three farm laws. The government earlier this week added five extra hours to the duration of discussion in Rajya Sabha on a motion thanking the President for his address to the joint sitting of Parliament to allow debate on the farmers’ protest against three agri reform legislations.