Farmers' protest: Anurag Thakur says dialogue is the only way out | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Farmers' protest: Anurag Thakur extends olive branch to ‘Annadatas’, says dialogue is the only way out

Feb 22, 2024 09:42 PM IST

Anurag Thakur on farmers' protest: “Earlier also we were ready for discussions, still we are ready and in future also we will be ready… they are our ‘Annadatas’

Union minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday said that dialogue is the only way to address the concerns of the farmers, whom he addressed as the country's ‘Annadatas’ (provider of food).

"Earlier also we were ready for discussions, still we are ready and in the future also we will be ready. We don't have any problem, they are our ‘Annadatas’," ANI quoted Thakur as saying.

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Union minister Anurag Thakur.(PTI file)
Union minister Anurag Thakur.(PTI file)

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) are spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the government to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops and a farm loan waiver. The protest has been suspended for two days and the next course of action will be decided on Friday.

On the other hand, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which spearheaded the 2020-21 farmers' protest has now formally joined the new agitation and will observe ‘Black Day’ or ‘Aakrosh Diwas’ on Friday against the death of a farmer on Punjab-Haryana border on Wednesday.

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Thakur highlighted the Modi government's work for the farmers, saying,
"Despite the increase in the prices of fertilizers across the world, we prevented the rise in fertiliser and urea costs for farmers. The Government of India provided subsidies amounting to 3 lakh crore."

ALSO READ: Cabinet hikes sugarcane prices for 2024-25 by 8%

"We worked continuously in the last three years and brought Nano Urea and not only this, I want to tell you that in the 10 years of UPA, 5.50 lakh crore were spent on MSP for wheat, paddy, and oilseeds. The Modi government has allocated 18.39 lakh crore, which is more than 3.50 times," Thakur said.

‘UPA did not respect farmers’, says Thakur

Anurag Thakur lashed out at the Congress-led UPA government, saying that the previous government did not respect the farmers.

"If I give you the example of pulses, the UPA government spent 1936 crore, the Modi government spent more than 55,000 crore," he said.

ALSO READ: ‘Cong to guarantee MSP to farmers if it comes to power’

The Union Minister continued his attacks on the UPA government and said that during the time of Congress, there was neither respect for farmers nor funding.

“They (UPA) spent 11,000 crore in oilseeds, we spent 33,000 crore. They spent 2.80 lakh crore on wheat, we spent 12.80 lakh crore. It was the Modi government that deposited 2.81 lakh crore in the accounts of 12 crore farmers, and during the UPA, farmers did not get compensation,” the minister said.

"At our time, compensation worth 1.54 lakh crore has been given under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana," he added.

"During their (UPA) time, money was not received from banks. In 2013-14, 7.3 lakh crore was given. We gave more than 20 lakh crore to the farmers in 2021-22. This was our duty towards the farmers, that is why Modi ji has created the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Look at each step in that direction, we spent 15,511 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Sichayi Yojana," the minister said.

(With ANI inputs)

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