New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday accused the opposition of misleading farmers on the recently-passed farm bills, and urged BJP workers to spread awareness on the benefits of the new legislation.
His statement comes on the day farmers are holding a nationwide agitation against the farm bills.
Addressing BJP workers on a virtual feed, on the birth anniversary of former Bharatiya Jana Sangh president Deendayal Upadhyaya, the PM urged his party cadre to conduct small meetings in groups of five over chai (tea) and explain the nuances of the bills to farmers.
“All BJP karyakartas (workers) should reach out to farmers on the ground and inform them in very simplified language about the importance and intricacies of the new farm reforms, how these will empower them,” Modi said. “Our ground connect will bust the propaganda being spread in the virtual world.”
He added that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has always taken decisions not for political gains but keeping the interests of farmers and labourers in mind. “Kisano se hamesh jinhone jhooth bola hai, kisaono ke kandho par bandook lagaa kar… Brahmit kar rahein hai,” he said.
‘Opposition always uses farmers as vote-bank’
Modi said there was a greater need to create more awareness about the farm bills as the opposition has always used farmers as a vote-bank and was now trying to mislead them.
Targeting the previous Congress-led UPA government, the PM said: “Previous governments used to make a complicated web of promises and laws that farmers or labourers could never understand. But the BJP-led NDA government has constantly tried to change this situation and has introduced reforms for the welfare of farmers.”
He said small and marginal farmers make up around 85 per cent of the agriculturists and will benefit the most from the agriculture reforms ushered in by the government.
“Some people who have always lied to the farmers are now trying to confuse them because of their political interests,” said Modi. “These people are spreading rumors. It is the responsibility of BJP workers to protect farmers from any such rumors. We have to make the future of the farmer bright.”
The NDA government led by the BJP, he said, “has continuously worked to change this situation”. “First we increased the MSP and then also ensured record government procurement for the benefit of the farmer.”
Defending the labour code bills, cleared by Parliament Wednesday, Modi said they will transform the lives of the labour force. “So far, only 30 per cent of the workers had the coverage of minimum wage guarantee. Now, it will expand to all workers in the unorganised sector.”
‘Fulfilled promises made in party manifesto’
Modi also claimed that promises made in the party manifesto are being implemented, be it the removal of Article 370 or the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. “Every BJP government, central or state, is trying to ensure that every individual feels included in the growth of the nation and doesn’t feel ignored,” he added.
The PM added that “our ideological system and political mantra are quite clear”. Nation is paramount for us. Nation first is our mantra, this is our karma,” he said.
Modi also asked the BJP workers to be disciplined. “The motto and behaviour of every BJP karyakarta must also be in sync with our dream of a modern and new India of the 21st century while preserving our rootedness in our traditional values and culture.”
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.