PM Modi to hold virtual meet with 9 crore farmers on Dec 25

The BJP will also distribute an open letter to farmers written by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meet with nine crore farmers on December 25, in which he will clarify the Centre’s position on the new farm laws. He will also release the next batch of financial aid of ₹18,000 crore from the PM-Kisan scheme.

Conversations with select farmers from six states will be held during the meet. The farmers “will share their experiences… on initiatives taken by the government for their welfare”, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office released on Wednesday (December 23).

The BJP will also distribute an open letter to farmers written by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Also read: Opposition misleading farmers, shooting from their shoulders, says PM

“Narendra Tomarji has expressed his feelings by writing a letter to farmer brothers and sisters, trying to have a polite dialogue. I request all the contributors to read it…,” PM Modi tweeted.

Tomar, on Wednesday (December 23), said that the government is “ready to discuss” the farm laws with farmer unions “at a time and place convenient” for them, adding he is “hopeful for a solution”.

Also read: Explainer: Why farmers, Centre have failed to reach an agreement

Tomar told ANI: “Through various schemes, we will fill all gaps in agriculture sector, which will benefit farmers and ensure that they get the right price…Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw that the work related to farming and agriculture wasn’t affected.”

He added: “I would also like to thank banks, as they brought more than 1 crore farmers under Kisan Credit cover during the pandemic gave farmers ₹1 lakh crore in the last eight months. We’ve undertaken some reforms and will bring more in future.”

The Centre had sent a proposal to the farmers’ unions on December 20, offering to hold the sixth round of talks. Earlier rounds of talks between the government and farmers did not lead to any solutions.

The farmers are concerned the new laws will leave them at the mercy of corporates. The Centre has said the laws will benefit farmers.

The Centre organised Kisan Sammelans in states to inform farmers on the agricultural laws. Modi had addressed the farmers in Madhya Pradesh last week, saying his government and he are ready “with folded hands” to discuss every aspect of the farm laws. He added the opposition is “misleading” farmers for political gains.

The farmers, however, are firm on their demand that the laws should be repealed.