Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar once again said on Saturday that the government is ready to amend the three farm laws, against which the farmers have been protesting for over 100 days. The protesters have been demanding the withdrawal of the three contentious laws.
Addressing the fifth national convention of Agrivision, Tomar said that the Centre is ready to amend these laws "to respect the sentiments of protesting farmers". He, however, stressed that the government's proposal does not mean that there were any deficiencies in these reform laws. He made the same statement in the Rajya Sabha last month.
Tomar said the three laws passed by Parliament in September last year will help farmers fetch more prices in the market. These laws will also boost investment in the farm sector, said the Union minister.
"No one is ready to talk on how these protests can be in the interest of farmers," said Tomar.
He also attacked the opposition parties which are supporting the farmers' protest. "There is a place for disagreement in democracy and so is for opposition and difference of opinion, but should there be any opposition that can harm the nation," he said.
The Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of these laws and formed a committee on the issue, the government to has said that it is ready to suspend these laws for 18 months but the farmers have been adamant with their demand that they should be withdrawn.
Eleven rounds of talks have taken place between the farmers and the government but the imapsse still continues. The protesters also want legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP). They say that the provisions in the law will put them at the mercy of big corporate houses - a point which has been expanded by the opposition parties, especially Congress, to say that the laws will benefit only a handful of corporate houses.
The government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has assured that the MSP system is here to stay but the farmers have not ended their protest.
The stir, launched on November 26 last year, completed 100 days on Saturday. Bharatiya Kisan union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, who has been leading the protest, asked the farmers to be prepared for long haul and also gave a formula to intensify the agitation.