'Important Moment for Farmers': PM Modi Hails Passing of Farm Bills, Says Forces Trying to 'Mislead'
File image of Indian PM Narendra Modi / News18.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called the passing of two bills related to the agriculture sector in the Lok Sabha as an "important moment for farmers" and termed protests as "misleading" farmers.
"The passing of the historic agriculture reform bills in Lok Sabha is important moment for the farmers and agricultural sector of the country. The bills will liberate the farmers from middlemen and other obstacles," Modi said in a tweet in Hindi.
On the issue of growing protests among farmers over the Bills, Modi said the legislatures will empower them by giving them more options. "I assure my farmer brothers and sisters that the system of MSP and government procurement will remain. These bills are really going to empower the farmers by giving them many more options," he said.
"This agrarian reform will provide new opportunities for farmers to sell their produce, which will increase their profits. With this, our agriculture sector will get the benefit of modern technology, whereas the farmers will be empowered," he further added using the hashtag #JaiKisan.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by voice vote as the Congress, DMK and Revolutionary Socialist Party members staged a walkout.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against three farm sectors bills.
Her resignation came soon after her husband and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal strongly opposed the bills in Lok Sabha, claiming that they will "destroy" the agriculture sector in Punjab, and announced that the Union minister will quit the government in protest.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar slammed Congress for protesting against the Bills. "Congress has always mentioned such reforms in its election manifesto but never had the courage to pursue them. Modi ji has liberated the farmers, I congratulate everyone for this," he was quoted as saying.
Earlier in the day, Congress MPs from Punjab had staged protests and burnt copies of the farm bills in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue inside the Parliament premises. Congress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Gurjit Singh Aujla and Amar Singh had said they will oppose the proposed legislations tooth and nail.
(With inputs from PTI)