As Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday interacted with farmers from six states, he asked a farmer from Arunachal Pradesh who has been doing contract farming whether the company that he has entered into a contract with also takes away his land or the contract is only for the produce.
The farmer who cultivates organic ginger said the contract is only for the produce, not the land. “See, you are in Arunachal Pradesh but still are aware that your land will not be taken away. But there are a few farmers here who have been misled to think otherwise,” PM Modi said in a veiled reference to the ongoing protest of the farmers against the three agriculture laws.
The government, in its attempts to dispel fears over contract farming, has been reiterating that contract farming will benefit farmers as it is not a binding upon farmers and they are free to terminate contract. However, apprehension over contract farming persists as reports have emerged that a Delhi-based company refused to buy the crops from Madhya Pradesh farmers even after agreement.
PM Modi’s interaction with farmers amid the ongoing standoff with farmers on the occasion of the released of Rs 18,000 crore under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme is significant as the message is clear: the government will not repeal the laws, MSP will continue, protesting farmers have been misled by opposition parties. While PM Modi was addressing farmers through video-conferencing, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh addressed farmers in Delhi.
Inaugurating the main event, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said a few farmers of Punjab are protesting against the laws. Urging them to withdraw their protest, the minister said, “I hope they will understand the importance of the new farm laws, and the issue will be resolved soon.”