Farmers blocking railway tracks with tractors (File Photo, Image credit: The New Indian Express)

PM, farmer leaders locked in verbal battle

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Benaras on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti (Nov 30) highlighting the steps his government had taken for the cause of agriculturalists has failed to cut much ice as farmer leaders said that they know everything about the three new legislations and the measures taken by the Centre and that they were not at all beneficial for them.

While cautioning the farmers and asking them not to be misguided by vested interests the Prime Minister said that in the five years of his government the farmers got Rs five lakh crore as the MSP (Minimum Support Price) when in the previous five years they got only Rs two lakh crore. He said that out of this wheat farmers received Rs three lakh crore in the five years of his government against just Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the previous five years. He assured the farmers that MSP would continue to exist in spite of the three recent legislations.

However, the leader of the Swaraj India and a leading light of the movement, Yogendra Yadav, while responding to the Prime Minister said that the latter had uttered five lies. He said that Modi had said that the movement is being led by middlemen, which is a total lie and the people should go and themselves see as to whether they are farmers or middlemen.

Secondly, it is totally wrong to say that only farmers of Punjab are participating in it. Thirdly, a different type of colour is being given to the whole movement by stating that Khalistanis and anti-national elements are behind it.

“When Muslims protest, they see Islamic angle and when farmers raise their issues they are dubbed as Khalistanis as a sizeable number of them are Sikhs,” he hit back.

Yadav further said it is wrong to say that the movement is leaderless and that there is anarchy prevailing in it. No, it is a peaceful and organized movement. Farmers are not five-year old kids who know nothing and can be easily misguided.

Another farmer leader Jagmohan Singh also criticized the PM’s Man Ki Baat and Monday’s speech in Benaras and rejected the offer for conditional talks.

Meanwhile, the leader of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party Hanuman Beniwal, an MP from Rajasthan, has written a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urging the government to take back the three laws which according to him is against the interest of the farmers. He threatened that his party would pull out of the NDA if the government does not fulfill his demands.

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