Watch what PM Modi said on anti-farm bill protest; Congress, Left join agitation
A day after tweeting in defence of contentious agriculture-related legislations recently cleared by the Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly addressed India’s farmers during an event on Bihar infrastructure projects. After launching projects like highway expansion and bridge construction, PM Modi said that the positive impact of the farm reform was already being seen since the latest moves had been implemented via ordinances a few months ago. Citing examples of potato and pulse procurement and higher price realised by farmers, PM Modi said that this showed why some people were suddenly agitating as they saw control slip out of their hands. A day earlier, unruly scenes had been witnessed in the Rajya Sabha as Opposition MPs had sought division of votes in connection with two of the three farm-related bills. Their appeals had been denied and the bills were passed by the Parliament’s Upper House with a voice vote. The President’s assent is now awaited before the bills become law. PM Modi said that the legislation aimed to liberate farmers from constraints of the current system. Meanwhile, Opposition parties like Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist) sought to bolster farmers’ protests by agitating in Chennai, Delhi and Ludhiana. Some farmers have opposed the bills claiming that they are a precursor to dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system.