Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states have been protesting for over a fortnight demanding the Centre repeal three new farm laws.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the foundation stone laying ceremony of development projects in Kutch, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.
news Farmer protests Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 17:24

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said his government is addressing the concerns of farmers over the new agri laws and accused the opposition parties of misguiding them. PM Modi was speaking after laying foundation stones of a desalination plant, a hybrid renewable energy park, and a fully automated milk processing and packing plant in his home state Gujarat.

"Farmers gathered near Delhi are being misled as part of a conspiracy. Farmers are told that their land will be grabbed by others if new farm reforms get implemented. I want to ask you, did the dairy owner take your cattle because you are selling milk to him?" the prime minister said.

He added that the agriculture reform that are taking place now is exactly what farmers' organisations and opposition parties have been asking for over the past years.

"Opposition parties, when they were in power, were in favour of these farm sector reforms, but did not take any decision back then. Now when the country has decided to embrace these reforms, these people are spreading falsehood and misleading farmers. I want to reiterate that my government is ready 24 hours to resolve all your doubts," Modi said.

The PM said that the government is committed to farmers' welfare and that they will keep assuring farmers and addressing their concerns.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere have been protesting near various border points of Delhi including Singhu and Tikri for over a fortnight demanding the Centre repeal three new farm laws.

On Monday, leaders of around 32 farmer unions observed a day-long hunger strike at the Singhu border as part of the protest. 

Agitating farmers have expressed apprehension that the new agri marketing laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations. 

The government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

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