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India’s agriculture minister pens emotional letter to agitating farmers, says MSP will continue

New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) Reaching out to farmers protesting the three farm laws for the last 22 days, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar has written a letter to them saying the minimum support price (MSP) is going to continue.

In his eight-page emotional letter to farmers, Tomar said that most of the farmers are happy with the Centre’s three new farm bills, but some confusion has been created by certain sections as part of a “conspiracy” to create tensions based on “falsehoods”.

In the beginning of his letter, he said that he has been touch with the farmers of the country over the last few days. “And in the last few days I also met and discussed the three farm laws with several farmer unions who have welcomed the government’s move. But the other aspect of this that some people are trying to spread falsehoods,” he said.

Tomar wrote: “As the Agriculture Minister of the country, it is his duty to clear the air over the three farm laws. As Agriculture Minister, it is my responsibility to break the conspiracy that is being spread in the name of the farm laws between the government and the farmer sitting on protest near Delhi’s borders.”

The Agriculture Minister further said, “I belong to a farmer’s family and since childhood, I have experienced the tough life of farmers. And I also know what it takes to grow or sell crops. It is very satisfactory that after implementation of the law, MSP procurement has set a new record this time.”

He further said that 80 per cent of farmers own just one to two acres of land and under the new three farm laws greater freedom has been given to them to sell their crops.

Without naming Opposition parties, Tomar said, “A lie is being spread in the name of MSP and mandis. The fact is that nothing is going to change.”

He also said that in the last six years the government has done a lot of work for farmers.

“Through these Bills, the government has provided an additional option for farmers to sell their product anywhere they want,” Tomar said.

He also said that the MSP and APMC mandis will continue and the government is ready to give a written assurance in this regard.

Targeting the Congress, the Agriculture Minister said: “Congress sat on recommendations made in the Swaminathan Committee report for eight years. And these days, they are working again to create tension.”

Slamming the Congress, Tomar said, “They have even questioned our Army and their supreme sacrifice in Leh-Ladakh.”

The Minister also said that the the opposition parties who’ve lost their support base are trying their best to gain ground by raising the issues of farmers.

He also warned the farmers that in the name of farmer agitation several such people have entered into the fray who have nothing to do with farmers welfare.

“For the last six years you must have witnessed that several such groups have tried to create a divide in society and they are again doing the same by entering into the farmers agitation.”

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Utar Pradesh have been sitting on protest near the Delhi-Haryana Singhu and Tikri borders and the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh Ghazipur border since November 26.

The farmers have been demanding repealing of the three farm laws and guarantee for the MSP.

Earlier the government’s five rounds of talks with farmer leaders have been inconclusive. The government even shared a proposal with the farmers which was rejected by farmer unions.

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