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Just a Few People Disagreeing on Agri Reforms, Says Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Farmers' Protests

A file photo of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

A file photo of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Speaking to reporters in Betul, the Union minister for petroleum and gas also took a swipe at protesters claiming it was difficult to make those understand who wanted to remain asleep.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said the protests against the Centre's farm laws were just a few people in disagreement, and added that the changes allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere like traders. Speaking to reporters in Betul, the Union minister for petroleum and gas also took a swipe at protesters claiming it was difficult to make those understand who wanted to remain asleep.

"The disagreement of a few people cannot be called a farmers agitation. Is it there in Betul? MP agriculture minister Kamal Patel has shared his experiences with me. We are talking in a straight manner and are able to put forth our views in villages," he said. He said the new farm laws allowed cultivators to sell their produce anywhere "just like a trader can sell his clothes in any market in the country".

When queried on whether the Centre was not being able to make the protesters understand its viewpoint, Pradhan said, "We are trying to make them understand. But in a democracy, it is a little difficult to make those understand who want to remain asleep," he said. Asked about fuel price hikes, the minister said they would increase and decrease as per the market system.

"The world is facing a slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. We import crude worth Rs 7-8 lakh crore. When prices increase, it pinches us, but when they come down, we pass it on to customers," he added. Pradhan inaugurated a biogas plant in the Bharat Bharti residential school premises here and said farmers of Betul could be role models for their counterparts across the country.

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