'Attempt to divide and mislead,' say farmer leaders after PM Modi's speech


Modi's government has said it is willing to pledge that guaranteed prices will continue but protest leaders have rejected the government's offer to amend some contentious provisions of the laws.

"This is not a political fight, this is not the BJP versus Congress fight, not opposition versus ruling party fight", he said.

After releasing the money, Modi first interacted with select farmers from different states through videoconference and then delivered a speech.

The PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme was launched in February previous year. "Sometimes, naive farmers get misled by you", the Prime Minister said.

Tearing into the Prime Minister's claim during the Kisan Samman programme, Surjewala said that as per the 2015-16 agriculture census, a total of 14.64 crore farmers in the country undertook cultivation in 15.78 crore hectares of land. "The bitter truth is that the Modi government does not want to solve the farmers' problem", he claimed.

The Prime Minister referred to late Atal Bihari Vajpayee recalling the words of Rajiv Gandhi about leakage in the central funds, saying "jab rupaiya chalta hai, to ghista hai (when the rupee travels, it wears out)".

A farmer from Orissa mentioned about various benefits he is getting from the Kisan Credit Card, including availability of loan at low-interest rates and other benefits.

The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee Friday demanded that the Centre arrange trains so that farmers from different parts of the country reach the ongoing protests at Delhi's border points, adding that they are ready to pay the cost of tickets for all peasants.

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"The farmers will share their experiences with PM-KISAN and also on various other initiatives taken by the government for the welfare of farmers", the Centre had said in a release earlier. I want to tell political parties, social organisations, and politicians and to those for whom farmers well being is far, they have got the opportunity they highlighted their anti-farmer character and today they are posing as farmers well-wisher and misleading them.

Urging farmers "not to be misled" and "not accept the lies of anyone", he asked them to think only on the basis of "logic and facts". Modi said: "You, sitting in Arunachal, are confident that your land is safe but some people are spreading this misinformation that farmers' land will go if they enter into a contract to sell the produce".

The Congress said the farmers, even in this bone chilling and spirit shattering cold, have been pleading for justice at the doors of Delhi for the past 31days.

Modi's outreach comes a day after India's main opposition party called for a special parliamentary session to withdraw the new laws.

During his interaction with Hari Singh, a farmer from Haryana's Fatehabad, Modi appeared happy when he said that he grew fruits apart from paddy and wheat and sold them in the open local market at a good price.

There are several parties which have given statements in favour of agri-reforms but their language has changed now and they are trying to misguide farmers, the PM said.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.