Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday slammed those abusing agitating Sikh farmers, saying it will not do the country any good as he went on to appeal to the protesting farmers to call off their over two-month-long stir, assuring them of continuing with the purchase of crops at an administered price or MSP.
In the same vein, he also hit out at deleterious influences from abroad, referring to them as ‘foreign destructive ideology’, as well as a new “breed” of agitators — ‘Andolan-jivi’ — in the country who cannot live without a tumult.
The SKM “condemns the insult” of farmers by the prime minister, a statement from the organisation issued by its leader Darshan Pal, said.
“Farmers would like to remind the PM that it is ‘andolans’ that have liberated India from colonial rulers and that is why we are proud to be ‘Andolan-jivi’.”
Hitting out at the BJP, the SKM said, “It is the BJP and it’s predecessors who never did any ‘andolan‘ against Britishers and they were always against the ‘andolans’. They are still scared of public movements.”
In his speech in Rajya Sabha, Modi dug out old statements such as one by his predecessor Manmohan Singh supporting farm reforms to allow farmers to sell their produce where they get the best price, saying the opposition parties had done a ‘U-turn’ on their own words and they have not been able to give out reasons for the continuation of the farmers’ agitation.
“Farmers would be more than happy to get back to farming if the government at least now accepts their legitimate demands, and that it is the government’s adamant attitude that is creating more ‘Andolan-jivis’,” said the SKM statement.
Farmers mainly from Punjab, Haryana and UP are protesting at Delhi borders, blocking main highways, demanding the Centre to repeal its newly enacted farm laws, for two and half months.
“SKM stands with constructive democratic processes that uphold basic human rights anywhere in the world and expects similar reciprocation from all like minded citizens all over the world because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” it said.
The Morcha also reiterated its demand for legal provision to ensure minimum support price (MSP) to farmers’ produce, saying merely “empty” statements were of no use.
“Empty statements on MSP will not benefit farmers in any way and that such meaningless statements were made in the past too. Farmers will benefit in reality and in an equitable as well as sustainable manner only if MSP is made into a legal guarantee for all crops,” it said.
The SKM also questioned the “commitment” of the government in seriously and sincerely resolving the farmers’ demands, saying it is introducing Electricity Amendment Bill 2021 despite assuring farmers’ organisations of withdrawing the draft bill.
The organisation alleged music videos related to the ongoing farmers’ protest have been removed from YouTube.