Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Kailash Choudhary in an exclusive interview to IANS said some people are fulfilling their political interests through the farmers’ protest and the government is always ready to resolve the issues through dialogue.
Some excerpts from the interview:
Q: One question is being repeatedly raised — why did the government bring the ordinance on farm laws during Covid period?
A: When the whole world was fighting the Covid pandemic, the farmers of our country were able to support the economy with their high yields. They had put in a lot of hard work and our government also gave them relaxations for the farming activities. During this period, the Central government took many steps towards providing relief to the farmers and increasing their income. Despite all the steps, it was very important to amend the laws otherwise welfare of the farmers was not possible, so the government brought in the ordinance. Through these laws, the farmers will be freed from the trap of APMCs.
Q: The government is ready to amend the agricultural laws and even ready to hold the implementation for one and a half years. Were there any flaws in the laws or the government is doing so under the pressure of the farmers?
A: Amending the laws or putting them on hold for sometime doesn’t mean that there are flaws in them. We are ready for this just to honour the protesting farmers and want that they should end their protest. Since, our motive is to make farming profitable and to do welfare, so in order to resolve their issues, we are ready for logical amendments.
Q: Despite several proposals from the government, the farmer leaders are adamant on their demand for withdrawal of the laws. Has this farmers’ protest become political?
A: The protesting farmers are demanding withdrawal of the three farm laws. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party along with several political parties have supported the farmers’ protest. Some people who have lost their political ground are now fulfilling their political interest through this protest. The public will never forgive those who are misleading the farmers.
Q: How the government is planning to end the farmers’ protest?
A: We have been always telling the protesting farmers that these laws will bring in revolutionary changes in their lives after implementation. These laws will allow them to sell their produce anywhere outside the APMCs. To break the deadlock, we have even proposed to put the laws on hold for one and a half years as the farmers are adamant. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also said this can only be resolved through dialogue and that is why the government is asking the farmers to end the protest which is in the best interests of the country as well as farmers.
Q: Is the government planning to hold any dialogue with the protesting farmers soon?
A: A lot of people protesting against the new agricultural laws are misinformed and almost all of them come from one region. With several rounds of discussions, one thing is clear that the farmers’ organisations are not able to support their issues with logic and facts, therefore, they are adamant on withdrawal of the laws. The government, with a clear intention, has proposed amendments and will always be ready to resolve the problems.