Failed political players' misleading farmers: Naqvi

'Failed political players' acting under 'depression of defeat', misleading farmers: Naqvi

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi at the 23rd Hunar Haat at Numaish Ground, in Rampur. Credit: PTI/Handout.

Slamming Opposition leaders for their stance against the new farm laws, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has alleged that "failed political players" who have been rejected repeatedly by the people are acting under their "depression of defeat" and "misleading" the farmers.

The Minority Affairs Minister also lashed out at Opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, alleging that the Congress leader was "posing" as a farmers' leader despite knowing little about farming, while the Delhi chief minister was "karne mein zero, dharne mein hero (zero in work, but hero in sit-ins)".

Farmers throughout the country are satisfied that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked for their empowerment and interests after coming to power, Naqvi told PTI in an interview.

The farmers' issue involves Minimum Support Price (MSP), kisaan mandis and protection of farmers' land and the government has given a 100 per cent guarantee on the three fronts, he said.

Naqvi asserted that neither the MSP will go, nor the mandis and there was no threat to farmers' lands.

The "Modi bashing brigade" instead of talking about issues of farmers, has started abusing Modi, he said, adding that questions arose with the entry of these "traditional Modi bashers".

On farmers' issues, the government has always believed in talks not 'takraav' (confrontation), Naqvi asserted.

"The government moved forward to resolve the issue through talks. When farmers were also satisfied that what the government was saying was logical and genuine, those people who were indulging in criminal conspiracy thought their game was going awry and they started misleading people," he said.

The whole matter is one of "criminal conspiracy ka sandook aur kisano ke kandhe par bandook (a box of criminal conspiracy and firing from farmers' shoulders)", Naqvi said, hitting out at the Opposition parties demanding a repeal of the farm laws.

Farmers have also understood that the issues have been solved and neither the farmers nor the country has any doubts about the honesty of Modi, Naqvi claimed.

Attacking the Congress-led Opposition, the minister alleged that "failed political players" are "misleading" farmers.

"These failed political players who have been rejected repeatedly by the people are acting under their depression of defeat. Farmers are genuine people, we respect them, there is no problem," Naqvi said.

"This (farmers) movement has been going on for long and the BJP was born out of a movement, so we respect it. That is why no force was used and the farmers were facilitated here. Rahul Gandhi does not know much about farming, but is posing as a leader of the farmers," he said.

The Opposition has been accusing the government of working for the interests of corporates by bringing the legislations, a charge denied by the government that has maintained that the laws will be beneficial for farmers in every way.

A delegation of opposition parties including Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and Left leaders had last week met President Ram Nath Kovind seeking repeal of the three farm laws against which thousands of farmers have been protesting on various borders of the national capital.

Naqvi also listed the Modi government's steps in the farmers' interest, saying in 2014 when his government came, the agriculture budget was increased to Rs 1,34,000 crore over the years, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sammann Nidhi was introduced along with pension for farmers, soil health cards and announcement of 'Aatmanirbhar package' of 1 lakh crore was made for them.

To the Opposition's charge that the government dubs all those opposing it as Khalistanis or anti-nationals, Naqvi said the government never said "farmers are Khalistanis or urban Naxals and their movement is respected".

"But, when undesirable elements, anti-social and anti-national elements make an entry, which is visible, then questions are raised, but that has nothing to do with the farmers," he said.

"Everyone knows that Modi ji has reached here by working his way up after toiling on the ground and he knows about the pain of farmers and their problems," Naqvi said.

Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at Delhi borders against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.

At least five rounds of formal talks have been held between the three Union Ministers and 40 farmer unions to break the deadlock.

The unions, however, are demanding complete roll back of the central laws. Last week, the Centre had sent a proposal to these unions, stating that it would give a written assurance that the minimum support price (MSP) system will remain and also redress their other key concerns.