On a day the farmers’ protest on the borders of Delhi completed 100 days, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked “how this agitation can do good to the farmer” and if opposition should come “at the cost of the country”.
“Loktantra mein asahmati ka apna sthaan hai, virodh ka bhi apna sthaan hai, matbhed ke bhi apane mahatv hai, lekin kya virodh is keemat par kiya jana chahiye jo desh ka nuksaan kare? Aaj jo aandolan chal raha hai, vah aandolan kis tarah se kisaan ka bhala kar sakta hai, is baat par koi baat karne ko taiyaar nahin hain (There is a place for disagreement and opposition in democracy. Differences also have their own importance, but should opposition come at a price that will harm the country? The agitation that is going on today, no one is willing to talk about how this can do good to the farmer),” Tomar said at ‘Agrivision 2021’, organised by Vidyarthi Kalyan Nyas, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, and the ABVP on Saturday.
Tomar’s remarks are significant as he is leading a three-member ministerial committee in talks with the agitating farmer unions. The last discussion was held on January 22 and the talks have not resumed since. The unions had rejected the government’s proposal to stay the laws for 18 months.
“On the instructions of the Prime Minister, I held talks with the unions 11-12 times and proposed some amendments…
Even when the motion of thanks was being discussed on the President’s address, the people of the opposition spoke only prominently on the farmers’ movement, but I am sad that people who claim to be experts on agriculture, did not try to indicate any provision of the agricultural reform Bills to which they have any objection,” the Agriculture Minister said.
“Everyone has freedom to do politics in democracy, but will politics be done by killing the farmer? Will politics be done by hurting the farmer? Will intentions be fulfilled by ruining the country’s agricultural economy? The new generation has to definitely think over it,” Tomar said.
Stating that the government’s proposal to amend the farm laws should not be seen as if there are flaws in the Acts, Tomar said, adding that the government is dedicated to the farmers and “therefore we gave a proposal for certain amendments”.