New Delhi [India], December 17 (ANI): Amid protests on Delhi borders against new farm laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has written an open letter to farmers, saying "misunderstanding has been created among some farmer unions" and "white lies" are being spread on minimum support price.
The minister slammed the Congress saying that they had spoken in favour of such laws before they were enacted. He said that AAP and Shiromani Akali Dal were also speaking "in a different tone".
In his eight-page letter, Tomar said he comes from a family of farmers and knows the finer points and challenges of farming. He said the government "will never stop" minimum support price mechanism.
The minister, who tweeted his letter, said that the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked on the mantra of "sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas" to work for the welfare of every citizen without any discrimination and the past six years are a witness to it.
He urged farmers to have faith that "the reforms done for their welfare will be the foundation of a new chapter in Indian agriculture and will empower them and give them more freedom".
Tomar said in the letter he is greatly satisfied as Agriculture Minister that after new laws came into force, the Union government did a record amount of procurement on minimum support price(MSP).
"It is a matter of great satisfaction for me as Agriculture Minister that after the new laws come into force, all previous records of government procurement on MSP have been broken. At a time when our government is setting new records of procurement at MSP, increasing the number of procurement centers, some people are lying to the farmers that MSP will be removed," he said.
The minister urged farmers to "recognize this white lie" being spread by "motivated political interests".
"I urge the farmers to recognize this white lie being spread by some people motivated by their political interests and reject it outright. The government, which gave farmers MSP at one-and-a-half times (the cost of production), which in the last six years, through the MSP, provided farmers almost double the amount in their accounts, that government will never stop MSP. It will be continued," he said.
He said betterment of farmers has been one of the most important priorities in the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The government under the leadership of Prime Minister has been taking continuous decisions for increasing income of farmers, bringing prosperity in their lives," he said.
Tomar said the steps taken by the government will "hugely benefit" the 80 per cent of small farmers in the country who have been doing farming largely to feed themselves.
"You also know that 80 per cent of the small farmers in our country hold only one or two acres of land. The steps taken by the government are hugely beneficial to small farmers," he said.
He attacked Congress for not implementing the suggestions of the Swaminathan Committee report for eight years and added the party also supported such reforms and even included them in its manifesto.
"The process of dialogue about these reforms began in 2001 during Atalji's government. After Atalji, there was a Congress government at the Centre for 10 years and they were also in support of these reforms, even included them in their manifesto," he wrote.
The Agriculture Minister also attacked AAP and Shiromani Akali Dal for opposing the farm sector laws.
"Why Aam Aadmi Party wrote in its manifesto at the time of Punjab election that it would allow farmers to sell products outside the mandi, and opposing it now? The Hooda Committee had also talked about agrarian reforms. The committee also had big leaders from the Akali Dal, so why are they speaking in a different tone today?" he asked.
He said that it is "nation's misfortune" that some people who call themselves "neutral" and consider themselves "intellectual" are shamelessly speaking the exact opposite of what they said before about agrarian reforms.
The farmers are protesting on Delhi borders against three farm laws enacted recently by the government. (ANI)