PM, Shah reach out to farmers as protests enter Day 24

PM Modi, Amit Shah reach out to farmers as protests enter 24th day

Despite efforts made by Agriculture Minister Tomar, PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, they have not been able to resolve the issue

Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Modi. Credit: PTI File Photo

As the farmers' protest entered the 24th day with no resolution in sight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday highlighted how his government's reforms have changed the world's perception about India and Home Minister Amit Shah had lunch at a farmer's house in West Bengal in full media view, apparently seeking to counter the Opposition's "anti-farmer" campaign against the NDA government.

Speaking during his keynote address at ASSOCHAM, Modi asserted that farmers have now got the benefits of farm reforms that were introduced by the government six months ago. Separately in a tweet, Modi urged people to read and share widely an e-booklet issued by the government highlighting how the recent agro-reforms help farmers.

“There is a lot of content, including graphics and booklets that elaborate on how the recent Agro-reforms help our farmers. It can be found on the NaMo App Volunteer Module’s Your Voice and Downloads sections. Read and share widely,” the prime minister tweeted sharing snapshots of pages from the Hindi version of the booklet.

At the ASSOCHAM event, he merely said "agriculture reforms initiated six months back have started benefiting farmers," but did not elaborate on it. While the 100-page e-booklet in English and Hindi released by the government has highlighted the success stories of farmers who have benefited from the reforms enacted in September, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday wrote an open letter to farmers reassuring them on MSP and seeking to allay their fears on farm laws.

However, nothing seems to be resolving the deadlock, the Agriculture Minister's letter further backfired with farmers questioning the mention of the Opposition parties role in the letter and slammed the attempt to link their protest with Opposition parties and it has led to attempts to forge a better unity among the farm unions. In Haryana, former Union Minister and BJP leader Chowdhary Birender Singh also extended support to farmer agitation.

Also Read | Farmers' agitation: Will decide next course of action in 2-3 days, say protesting unions

On Friday, Modi had said the government was ready "with our heads bowed, our hands folded, with humility" to allay any concerns over the issue while Tomar had expressed hope of resolving the issue of protesting farmers before the new year. Farmer unions are also not very enthused by the Supreme Court's intervention into the matter and have asserted that no farmer organisation approached the court in the first place and asked for its intervention in the matter.

In the poll-bound West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district, Shah had lunch at the house of a farmer as part of his exercise to strengthen relations with the farmers, a move coming in the backdrop of the ongoing farmers protests in Delhi to which Mamata Banerjee was quick to announce her support last last month as soon as protests had broken out.