As farmers from Punjab and other states continue their 'Dilli Chalo' protest over the contentious farm bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his 71st Mann Ki Baat address on Saturday, November 29, said the agri reforms would open new doors of opportunities for them. He said several parties made promises to bring reforms in the sector but the demands were finally met now. "Agricultural reforms in the past few days have also now opened new doors of possibilities for our farmers. The demands that have been made by farmers for years, that every political party, at some point or the other made promise, those demands have been met," PM Modi said.
He stated that the Parliament of India had given a legal form to the agricultural reforms after a lot of deliberation. "These reforms have not only served to unshackle our farmers but have also given them new rights and opportunities," the prime minister noted.
He said there is another big thing in the agri-reform law, under which a sub-divisional magistrate of the area will have to settle farmers' complaints in a month. PM Modi's mention of agri-reform bills comes amid raging farmers' protests across Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi, and its border areas.
Farmers representing over 30 farm bodies have called for a 'Dilli Chalo' march through several routes -- Lalru, Shambhu, Patiala-Pehowa, Patran-Khanauri, Moonak-Tohana, Ratia-Fatehabad, and Talwandi-Sirsa. They have been demanding that the central government repeal the new farm laws, which, they say, should be replaced with another set of legislation framed after wider consultations with the stakeholders.
After several chaotic incidents on Friday in which police could be seen using teargas shells, water cannons on protesters, multi-layer barriers have been put up in border areas to stop them from reaching Delhi. Some farmers were seen breaking the barricades, pelting stones to push through tight police security in order to reach Delhi.
Meanwhile, appealing to protesting farmers to end their agitation, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said the government is ready to discuss all issues with them. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has also appealed to farmers to shift to the Burari ground in the national capital to stage their protests and said the Centre is ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.
"Some farmers unions and farmers have demanded that talks be held immediately instead of December 3. So, I assure everyone that the central government is ready to hold discussions with you as soon as you shift to the ground (in Burari)," he said.