In strong defence of the government’s pro-farmer policies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday (February 24) his government has ushered a “historic increase” in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and is doing everything possible to double the farmers’ income.
In a series of tweets on the completion of two years of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi or PM-Kisan scheme, the PM said, “On this day, two years ago the PM-Kisan scheme was launched with an aim to ensure a life of dignity as well as prosperity for our hardworking farmers, who work day and night to keep our nation fed. The tenacity and passion of our farmers is inspiring.”
“Our government had the honour of ushering a historic increase in MSP. We are doing everything possible to double the income of farmers,” he added.
The PM said over the last seven years, the government has taken many initiatives for transforming agriculture. “From better irrigation to more technology, more credit and markets to proper crop insurance, focus on soil health to eliminating middlemen, the efforts are all-encompassing,” he said.
The PM has repeatedly asserted his government’s commitment to MSP in the face of the prolonged farmers’ protest against new farm laws. The farmers fear that these laws would lead to the dismantling of the MSP system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.
The government and farmer representatives have held a series of negotiations where the farmers have stuck to only one demand: repeal of the new laws. The government insists the farmers have not shared with it specific complaints against the new laws.
Rakesh Tikait, the leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, has threatened to gherao Parliament and organize ‘mahapanchayats’ in several states, including in poll-bound West Bengal.