NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest against the Centre’s newly enacted farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday quoted his predecessor Manmohan Singh on the need for reforms in the farm sector and also cautioned the nation about a new form of “FDI” which he referred to as “foreign destructive ideology” as the agitation grabs global attention.
Defending Centre’s policies for farmers and referring to those taking a “U-Turn” from laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha said, “Manmohan Ji is here, I would 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 produce 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,” he added.
“Manmohan Singh Ji had made his intentions clear to give farmers the freedom to sell their produce, and have just one market. And we are doing it now. You all should be proud. See, what Manmohan Singh Ji had said, Modi is having to do now. (woh Modi ji ko karna pad raha hai). Be proud!” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister also assured, ‘MSP (Minimum Support Price) tha, MSP hai aur MSP rahega’ (MSP was there, MSP is there, MSP will remain in the future).
PM Modi also said that the need of the hour is to improve the lives of the country’s small farmers and the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) initiated changes in the agriculture sector since 2014.
He further said, “This country is proud of every Sikh. What have they not done for this country? Whatever respect we give them will always be less. I have been fortunate to spend crucial years of my life in Punjab. The language used by some against them and the attempt to mislead them will never benefit the nation.”
On the other hand, while emphasising on the need for more FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) he cautioned the nation regarding a new form of FDI which he referred to as “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,” said PM Modi.
His statement comes as farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s newly-enacted farm laws has got international attention with tweets by pop-star Rihanna and Swedish climate-activist Greta Thunberg backing the protesting farmers.
Many farmers, mainly from Punjab, have been protesting for over 70 days at the borders of Delhi against the three newly enacted farm laws. They demand repealing of laws as well as the assurance of Minimum Support Price (MSP) by the government.
The Prime Minister further took a jibe at the Congress party saying that Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had praised the recent elections held in Jammu and Kashmir, and hoped that Congress would take it in the right spirit
“Ghulam Nabiji always speaks decently, never uses foul language. We should learn this from him, I respect him for it. He praised elections held in Jammu and Kashmir…I believe your party will take it in the right spirit and not commit the mistake of doing the opposite by listening to suggestions of G-23,” said PM Modi in his reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Rajya Sabha.
PM Modi’s reference to G-23 was about the 23 senior Congress leaders who had written a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, asking her for changes in the party. (ANI)