Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke more than 25 times about agricultural reforms and led the government’s effort to reach out to farmers, top sources said today, challenging the perception that new farm laws at the center of the mass protests were enacted. without enough consultation.
The sources said the government had reached out to farmers “before and after” enacting farm laws. “PM spoke more than 25 times, more than 2.23 crore SMS were sent to farmers in October and 1.37,054 webinars were held reaching 92 lakhs of farmers and the Minister of Agriculture (Narendra Tomar) had multiple meetings, “the sources said.
The prime minister who spoke about the reforms “more than 25 times” amounted to almost one speech a week on the subject, the sources said.
The perception that the central government has not done extensive outreach and consultation with farmers and their representatives is misplaced, they said, emphasizing that “multiple levels” were involved in the effort.
The government’s detailed clarification came one day when a prominent group of farmers approached the Supreme Court to ask it to repeal the three laws that have led thousands of farmers to protest on the roads near Delhi, determined to continue their agitation. All the time needed.
The petition says the laws are “arbitrary” and were passed without proper discussion.
The government has offered amendments to the laws, which were passed in September in an attempt to review hiring procedures and open the market.
Farmers, however, fear that the laws will wipe out regulated markets that bought their products at guaranteed minimum prices and leave them at the mercy of private buyers.
Many opposition parties have backed their demands, accusing the government of rushing the bills through a shortened parliament session and without proper procedure in Rajya Sabha.