Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a strong appeal amid farmers' protests near Delhi borders as he defended the centre's agricultural laws that have triggered biggest agitation in years. "If anyone has any concerns, then with our heads bowed and our hands folded, with humility, we are willing to discuss with them and assuage their fears," PM Modi said, addressing farmers in Madhya Pradesh via video.
"These laws were not brought in overnight. In past 22 years, every government, state has discussed these in detail. Farmer groups, agricultural experts, economists, scientists and progressive farmers, have called for reforms. Parties opposing these laws today promised these reforms in their manifestos," he asserted.
Today, he spoke in favour of the the laws again, stressing: "Agriculture reforms initiated six months back have started benefitting farmers."
Despite government assurance on the minimum support price, the protests have entered the 24th day and the numbers continue to swell at the Delhi borders; the support to the agitation is also growing.
Bharatiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait on Friday said farmers did not want conflict during the protest against the new farm laws and the issue should be resolved through dialogue. Mr Tikait said the Centre should repeal the farm laws in public interest, adding that the contentious legislations were not in favour of the farmers.
Here are the updates on farmers' protest
Two nationwide protests have been organised since the farmers started camping around Delhi- last week's Bharat Bandh and an all-India hunger strike earlier this week. The protesters say they're ready for a long haul, if needed. Visuals have shown them arranging community meals and persisting despite Delhi's biting cold.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said the government is hopeful of resolving farmers' agitation against three new farm laws before the new year. "We have constantly been holding discussions with farmers' unions... Overall, our effort is to reach a solution through dialogue with them. We are still open for talks. We are holding discussions with unions. I hope through dialogue we can move towards reaching a solution," Mr Tomar told news agency PTI. Read here
Slamming Opposition leaders for their stance against the new farm laws, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has alleged that "failed political players" who have been rejected repeatedly by people are acting under their "depression of defeat" and "misleading" the farmers." itemprop="description
Amid the farmers' protest, a library-cum-cultural centre has been set up at Singhu border which aims to provide books and newspapers for youth and also imparts school education to students from nearby slums." itemprop="description
As the protests near Delhi by farmers against the new farm laws entered their 24th day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the reforms introduced by his government six months ago have started benefiting farmers.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal this morning hit out at the government over protests, saying: "Dear PM, three big lies are being spread in the name of farm laws. Understand the pain of farmers. They're not a part of politics. Demonetisation: Everything will be ok in 50 days. Corona: wait for 21 days. China- No intrusion on our land"