Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Opposition parties of spreading lies over the farm laws for furthering their political agenda, the Opposition hit back, saying he was indulging in misleading tactics and rhetoric to deceive the people.
The Congress said the government is trying to “tire out the farmers”, hoping they will go back, but the strategy will not work. “The Prime Minister is busy giving clarifications on TV and his ministers are hiding behind the smoke-screen of letters. They are least interested in the welfare of farmers. The government shall have to withdraw these three black laws,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.
Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “You do not have the guts to talk to the farmers face-to-face and find out a solution. Sitting far away, you distribute Rs 18,000 crore from the government treasury and say that this is your government’s favour for the farmers. This money doesn’t go into the accounts of the farmers. The middlemen still exist.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Prime Minister of trying to mislead the state’s farmers by accusing the state government of depriving them of cash benefits under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. “Let me set the record straight – we have always been ready to cooperate in the interest of the farmers. I personally have written two letters and have even spoken to the concerned Minister two days ago but they are refusing to cooperate and are instead indulging in malicious propaganda for political gains,” Banerjee said in a statement.
The Left too slammed the Prime Minister.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “There is no confidence in Modi government’s assurances for discussions with farmers since these bills were passed without any prior discussion and by preventing a vote in the House.”
“The Prime Minister claimed today that some monies had been released. But this is part of a pre-poll ongoing scheme! PM asking why no protests in Kerala! But there are big protests in Kerala. The state government’s decision to call a special session of the assembly to reject these bills is not being permitted by the governor. This is blatantly unconstitutional,” he added.
CPI general secretary D Raja said the Prime Minister thinks that he can hoodwink the people. “Whatever he said today was nothing but lies. For instance, he was referring to Kerala. Kerala is one state which is giving MSP more than what is fixed by the Union government. He is accusing the Opposition of indulging in petty politics. It is the Prime Minister who is doing politics by referring to the outcome of recent elections…”
Stop defaming farmers: Sukhbir
Sukhbir Singh Badal, chief of the BJP’s estranged ally Shiromani Akali Dal, said the Centre should stop defaming farmers and hold talks with them on ways to repeal the laws.
In a statement, the SAD president said the Centre has adopted a “callous and insensitive attitude” towards the suffering of farmers who are camping in severe cold at Delhi borders.