CHANDIGARH: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has promised that the minimum support price for farmers’ crops will be protected, Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar said on Tuesday.
Khattar made the remark on his Twitter handle after meeting Tomar in the national capital and asserted that all BJP governments in various states as well as the Centre accord highest priority to the farmers’ interests.
He also expressed hope for an amicable resolution to the tillers’ issue at the earliest.
Khattar met Tomar in New Delhi amid thousands of farmers holding sit-ins at various borders of the national capital seeking repeal of the three new farm laws of the Centre.
“On the issue of farmers, I had a meeting with Narendra Singh Tomar Ji. He has assured that the MSP will be protected,” Khattar tweeted after the meeting.
“For our government, interests of farmers have been and will be above all,” he further said.
Earlier interacting with reporters in Delhi after the meeting, Khattar said he was hopeful of an “amicable resolution” when the representatives of protesting farmers and the Centre meet for another round of talks on Wednesday.
In another tweet, Khattar alleged that the opposition is doing cheap politics in the name of farmers and said those doing so need to be condemned.
“Our aim is to make farmers self-reliant. Once again, I promise my farmer brethren that the MSP will continue and I will not allow peasants to face any difficulty,” he said.
Referring to the upcoming meeting between farmers’ representatives and the Centre on Wednesday, Khattar told reporters that the Union government will do whatever is in the best interest of farmers.
Asked about the many of the JJP MLAs, the BJP’s coalition partner in Haryana, expressing support to the agitating farmers, Khattar said, “Farmers are our own. After all, who will not want their income should rise? Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has said their income should double.”
Khattar accused the opposition parties of having resorted to double standards on farm laws, saying they have come out against the new laws enacted by the Modi government despite their demands for similar provisions during the UPA regime.
He also said the “issue to amend the APMC Act had cropped up when Sharad Pawar was the Union agriculture minister” and added many of the UPA allies at that time had supported it.
“Now, they are doing cheap politics in the name of farmers and using them to grind their axe,” he said.
Khattar met Tomar a day before the slated meeting of the farmers’ representatives with the Central government in Delhi for their sixth round of talks.
No breakthrough has been possible in the five rounds of talks so far, as the protesting farmers have stuck to their demand for the repeal of the laws despite the government’s assurance to look into specific issues without abolishing the legislations.
The three farm laws have been presented by the government as major agriculture sector reforms aimed at removing the middlemen and allowing farmers to sell their crops anywhere in the country The protesting farmers, however, have been fearing that the new laws would lead to the scrapping of the MSP mechanism, leaving them at the mercy of corporates.
The Centre has been seeking to allay their fears, maintaining that the MSP and mandi systems would continue as earlier and would rather be further improved and strengthened.