Clean chit to Modi, clean chit to Modi, Gujarat riots, SIT
The SIT, in a closure report filed on February 8, 2012, had given a clean chit to Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat and 63 others in the riots, stating that there was no “prosecutable evidence” against them. | File Photo

PM Modi slams opposition for 'intellectual dishonesty' over farm laws

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the opposition of ‘intellectual dishonesty’ and ‘political deceit’ over its criticism of the three Farm laws. Modi also said that ‘tough and big decisions’ need to be taken to ‘bring benefits’ to citizens “who should have received them decades ago.”

Stoutly defending the laws, Modi said that it is one thing if a political party makes a promise and is unable to deliver on it, but what is a ‘particularly undesirable’ and ‘detestable’ trait is that some of these parties made promises on the lines of the reforms enacted by his government, and have now done a U-turn and spread ‘the most malicious kind of misinformation on the promises they themselves had made.’ He also said that his government is “committed to empowering the small farmers in every way.”

In an interview to Open magazine, Modi said, “The things that people of India are entitled to, those benefits that they should have received decades ago, have still not reached them. India shouldn’t be put in a situation where it has to wait any longer for the things that this country and its citizens are entitled to, we should give it to them.” He was replying to a question about the labour and farm laws enacted by the government and its refusal to roll-back the three contentious agriculture laws, as demanded by the protesting farmer unions.

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The ruling BJP has said that several opposition parties, including the Congress, had promised similar farm reforms that the Modi government has enacted but are now backing protests against the new laws for ‘selfish political reasons.’

A section of farmers, especially in Punjab and part of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting against the laws, whose implementation have been put on hold.

The Prime Minister noted that his government has been saying from the beginning that it is ready to sit together with the protesting farm bodies and discuss on those issues on which there is a disagreement.

“Many meetings have also been held in this regard but no one till now has come up with a specific point of disagreement that we want this to be changed,” Modi said.

Modi said that politics in India has seen ‘only one model’, in which governments were run to build the next government too, while his fundamental thinking is different as he believes in running the government to build the nation.

In an apparent attack on those who have criticised his government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Modi said, “However, we have in our midst vested interests whose only aim is to tarnish India’s name. COVID-19 was a global scourge with all countries equally affected. In this scenario, India has done better than its peers and many developed countries, notwithstanding such negative campaigns.”

Modi said that the biggest lesson from the fight against COVID-19 has been that India has an unparalleled ability to unite, find a common purpose, come together, and a tremendous capacity to deliver when a need arises. “From being a net importer of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, India has now become one of the biggest manufacturers across the globe,” he said.

Also read: After boost to mark Modi’s birthday, vaccination drive back at old levels

“Imagine if our country had not come up with a vaccine. What would be the situation? We know that a large population of the world doesn’t have access to COVID-19 vaccines. Today, our success in vaccination is thanks to India being Atmanirbhar (self-reliant),” Modi said.

Modi also said that he attaches a big importance to criticism as it is his conviction that this helps in his own healthy development. “I, with an honest mind, respect critics a lot. But, unfortunately, the number of critics is very few. Mostly, people only level allegations, the people who play games about perception are more in number. And, the reason for this is that, for criticism, one has to do a lot of hard work, research and, in today’s fast-paced world, maybe people don’t have time. So sometimes, I miss critics,” he said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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