Farmer agitation ‘pavitra’, but hijacked by Andolanjeevis: Modi

PM replies in Lok Sabha to the motion of thanks on the president’s address

GN Bureau | February 10, 2021


#economy   #farmer protests   #agriculture   #parliament   #Narendra Modi   #PM   #Covid-19  
(File photo: GN)
(File photo: GN)

Prime minister Narendra Modi has described the farmer protest as genuine (“pavitra”), while blaming other activists – “Andolanjeevis” – for hijacking it and giving it a violent turn.

“I consider the Kisan Andolan to be Pavitra. But, when Andolanjeevis hijack Pavitra Andolans, showcase photos of those jailed for serious offences, does it serve any purpose? Not allowing toll plazas to work, destroying telecom towers- does it serve a Pavitra Andolan,” he said, while replying in the Lok Sabha to the motion of thanks on the president’s address.

“It is important to differentiate between ‘andolankari’ and ‘andolanjivi’. There are people who talk the right things. But this same section, when it comes to doing the right things, fails to convert words into action. Those who talk big on electoral reforms oppose One Nation One Election. They speak of gender justice but oppose Triple Talaq. Such people mislead the nation,” he pointed out.

“This house, the government and we all respect the farmers who are voicing their views on the farm bills. This is the reason why topmost ministers of the government are constantly talking to them. There is great respect for the farmers. After the laws relating to agriculture were passed by parliament, no Mandi has shut. Likewise, MSP has remained. Procurement on MSP has remained. The budget has proposed to strengthen the mandis. These facts can’t be ignored,” he said, according to the official statement in English.

As the opposition boycotted his reply, Modi said those disrupting the house are doing so as per a well-planned strategy. “They are unable to digest that people are seeing through the truth. Through their games, the trust of the people can never be won.”

Countering the argument that the government was needlessly pushing a reform which had not been asked for, he said, “It is all optional but we can’t wait for things to be asked. Many progressive legislation came due to the demand of the times. The thinking that forces people to ask or beg cannot be a democratic one. We should take responsibility and keep working for the welfare of the people according to the needs of the country. We have worked for the change in the country and if intention is right, good results are bound to be there.”

Agriculture is part of the society and culture and our festivities and all occasions are connected with sowing and harvesting. More than 80 percent of our population cannot be ignored, small farmers cannot be ignored. Fragmentation of land-holding is leading to a worrisome situation where farmers are not getting viable returns from their fields, investment in agriculture is suffering. Steps are required for small farmers. Therefore we need to work for making our farmers Atmnirbhar (self-reliant) and give him freedom to sell his harvest and infuse diversity in crops. He stressed that investment in agriculture will lead to more employment. If we are able to provide them a level playing field, modern technology and instill confidence in them will need positive thinking as old ways and parameters will not work, the PM said.

He said the president’s speech showcased India's ‘Sankalp Shakti’, and his words have boosted the spirit of confidence among the people of India.

Modi asserted that the public sector is essential but at the same time the role of the private sector is also vital. Take any sector - telecom, pharma - we see the role of the private sector. If India is able to serve humanity, it is also due to the role of the private sector. “Using improper words against the private sector may have got votes for a few people in the past but those times are gone. The culture of abusing the private sector is not acceptable any longer. We cannot keep insulting our youth like this,” he insisted.

He said the government is working for strengthening infrastructure to create new opportunities for the poor and middle class. The government is focusing on taking the country towards balanced development. The PM said that the government is working in mission mode for eastern India. He mentioned, petroleum projects, roads, airports, waterways, CNG, LPG coverage, net connectivity projects in the region.

Tracing the trajectory of the world order after the World Wars, he pointed out that the post-COVID world is turning out to be very different. In such times, remaining isolated from the global trends will be counterproductive. That is why India is working towards building an Atmanirbhar Bharat, which seeks to further global good. He said, India becoming stronger and Atmanirbhar is good for the world. Vocal-for-local is not the thinking of any particular leader but is resonating with the people in every nook and corner of the country. Credit for handling of Corona goes to 130 crore Indians, said the PM. “Our doctors, nurses, COVID warriors, safai karamcharis, those who drove ambulances... such people and so many others became manifestations of the divine who strengthened India's fight against the global pandemic.”

The PM pointed out that during the pandemic, government could help the affected people through direct benefit transfer of Rs 2 lakh crore directly in their accounts. Our Jan-Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile (JAM) trinity made a positive difference in people’s lives. It helped the poorest of the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden. He said that reforms continued during the pandemic also and this is creating new momentum in our economy and there is hope of double digit growth.

He also pointed out that the government is taking steps to undo the historical neglect of the border infrastructure. The defence forces are fulfilling their responsibility of protecting our border. The Prime Minister lauded the soldiers for their bravery, strength and sacrifice.

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