• Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Modi calls farmer protests over contested laws politically motivated

  • Published at 04:09 pm December 25th, 2020
Farmers and members of various agricultural organisations shout slogans during a protest against new farm laws passed by India's parliament,
Farmers and members of various agricultural organisations shout slogans during a protest against new farm laws passed by India's parliament, in Mumbai, India, December 22, 2020 Reuters

Thousands of farmers from several Indian states have been camped on the outskirts of New Delhi for over a month

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that protests by farmers against three laws brought by his government were politically motivated, as he touted the success of an agricultural scheme launched last year.

Thousands of farmers from several Indian states have been camped on the outskirts of New Delhi for over a month, blocking highways to demand that Modi's government repeal the farm laws passed in September that they say threaten their livelihoods.

But Modi's virtual public address on Friday was not focused on the laws under contention.

Instead, he spoke via video conferencing to seven farmers from different states, asking them how they had benefited from 'PM Kisan' - a cash transfer scheme his government launched in February, 2019, under which farmers get minimum income support.

The farmers Modi spoke with on Friday praised his scheme - but none were among the thousands who have been protesting.

Modi repeatedly said "some people" were spreading lies and rumours about farmers' troubles, and dismissed the protests as motivated by political opponents.

"All these people who are protesting in support of farmers, what did they do when they were in power?" he said, referring to opposition politicians. "Those with political motives...are firing the gun from the farmers' shoulders."

Modi also said he was open to discussions with farmers. "I ask even those opposing me today, that my government is ready to talk to them on farmer issues...I urge our farmers to not be misled by anyone."

At least six rounds of talks between Modi's government and farmer leaders on the new laws have failed.

Modi used his address to also to take a dig at his political rivals, chiefly the fiery leader of the eastern state of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, ahead of legislative assembly elections in the state in 2021. Modi alleged that Banerjee's government was not allowing the farmers in its state to benefit from Modi's federal scheme.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail