MSP will stay, mandis to be modernised: PM promises amid farm stir

Speaking in Rajya Sabha, he appealed to the protesters to end their agitation against the farm laws

Modi
PM Modi says the government is doing everything possible to double the income of farmers. File Photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday promised that the minimum support price (MSP) system will remain in future and mandis will be modernised. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, he also appealed to the protesters to end their agitation against the farm laws.

In his reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Upper House, the PM questioned the opposition parties for their sudden “U-turn” on the farm reforms, and also slammed those behind the protests, saying a new “breed” of agitators has emerged in India who cannot live without an agitation and the country should be beware of them.

“‘MSP tha, MSP hai, aur MSP rahega (MSP was there. MSP is there. MSP will remain in the future). Affordable ration for the poor will continue. Mandis will be modernised,” asserted the prime minister in Rajya Sabha.

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“A new entity has come up in the country – ‘Andolan Jivi’. They can be spotted wherever there is a protest, be it agitation by lawyers, students, or labourers, explicitly or implicitly. They cannot live without andolan, we have to identify them and protect nation from them.”

Meanwhile, Modi also said the “new FDI (Foreign Destructive Ideology)” has emerged in the country and “we need to be more aware to save the country from such ideology.”

He also stressed that India is very proud of the contribution of Sikhs and the language used by some for them will not benefit the country. He alleged that some people are also trying to defame Sikhs.

“This is a community that has done so much for the nation. The country takes pride in the contribution of Sikhs, but some people are trying to defame them. The words and blessings of the Guru Sahibs are precious,” he said.

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He quoted former prime minister Manmohan Singh on the need for reforms in farm sector, and said Congress should take pride that Modi had to do what Singh wanted. He also said that the agri reforms should be given a chance and that the Centre is open to changes.

Modi said since 2014 his government has initiated changes in the agriculture sector aimed at empowering the farmers. He said the crop insurance scheme was also changed to make it more farmer friendly. The PM-KISAN scheme was also brought in, he added.

On COVID-19

On the COVID-19 front, Modi took on the opposition parties for criticising the government’s handling of the pandemic. He said that the country has proved wrong all those who raised apprehensions. Criticism is fine but no one should indulge in acts that breaks confidence of the country, the prime minister said.

The world today appreciates India’s efforts in saving humanity, and the credit does not go to any government or individual, “but the credit goes to Hindustan,” he said. Modi also said India emerged as a hub of pharmacy for the world during the pandemic, and added that the country is implementing the world’s largest vaccination programme.

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