Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that Minimum Support Price (MSP) will always be there during the ongoing Parliament session today. The Prime Minister was replying to the Motion of Thanks of President Ram Nath Kovind’s address.
“MSP tha, MSP hai aur MSP rahega' (MSP was there, MSP is there, MSP will remain),” Modi said in the Rajya Sabha, adding that Mandis would be modernized and the Centre will continue to provide affordable ration to the poor.
Modi was addressing the Parliament amid the farmers’ protest and said that all governments have supported agricultural reforms. “All governments have stood for agricultural reforms. Whether they were able to do it or not, but everyone has advocated that it should be done,” he said.
Modi also quoted former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “Those taking a U-turn on the farm laws will perhaps agree with him. ‘There are other rigidities because of the marketing regime set up in the 1930s, preventing our farmers from selling their products where they get the highest rate of return. We intend to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realizing its vast potential at one large common market.” Modi added that the Congress should be proud that he is doing what Singh wanted.
Modi has also asked farmers to engage in talks. The Prime Minister added that the Centre has made all options available. “Our Agriculture Minister is talking to our farmers. Our request to the protestors is that the agitation is fine but the elderly are sitting there for protests is not right,” he said.
Modi also thanked former PM HD Devegowda for discussing the agriculture sector in the House. “I would like to appreciate the contribution of HD Devegowda on the discussions relating to agriculture in the House. His words have added a great perspective to the debate. He has a strong association with the agriculture sector,” he said.
Sticking to issues surrounding the farmer’s protest, Modi said we must protect ourselves from the new ‘FDI’. “The country is making progress and we are talking about FDI. But, I see that a new FDI has come to the fore. We have to protect the nation from this new FDI. We need Foreign Direct Investment but the new FDI is 'Foreign Destructive Ideology', we have to protect ourselves from it,” he told the House.
Modi also spoke about the respect for Sikhs but added that those attempting to mislead them will never benefit from the country. “This nation is proud of every Sikh…. Whatever respect we give them will always be less…. The language used by some for them and attempt to mislead them will never benefit the nation,” he said.
Modi also said that a new crop of ‘Andolanjeevi’ (agitators) has sprung up and the country must be aware of them. “A new entity has come up in the country - 'Andolanjeevi'. They are present wherever there is a protest, be it agitation by lawyers, students, or labourers, explicitly or implicitly. They cannot live without 'Andolan' (protest), we have to identify them and protect the nation from them,” he said.
Earlier, the Opposition parties were keen on holding separate discussions on the farm laws, however, they later agreed to have it along with the discussion on the Motion of Thanks. Meanwhile, several Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs staged a walkout ahead of PM Modi’s response to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address. Nearly 50 MPs from over 25 parties took part in the three-day discussion. Modi thanked all 50 MPs for expressing their views.