Amid a protest by farmers against the Centre's three farm laws, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Saturday alleged that some people are spreading confusion among farmers about the minimum support price mechanism, whereas the truth is there has been an increase of one-and-half times in the stipulated rate for crops under the Modi government. Speaking to reporters at the BJP Uttar Pradesh state headquarters, Shekhawat said,
"The people who have termed the farm laws as black laws and have knowledge about agriculture, they should come and tell what is 'black' in these. The political parties who have been rejected by the people or who apprehend of being rendered useless in future, they are making it an issue and are spreading confusion like they had with the citizenship law amendment." He said The central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to the welfare of farmers and doubling their income.
On the Union Budget for 2021-22, Shekhawat said, "The budget was presented from the point of view of making the country self-reliant. And whenever the history of 'aatmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) will be written, this budget will prove to be a milestone. The budget was presented to transform adversity to opportunity." The Union minister said that in the budget, the Centre has launched the Jal Jeevan Mission for urban areas, and Uttar Pradesh will gain the most from it.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding the rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.
However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.