Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday responded to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar after he posted a critique of new farm laws that have fuelled massive protests over the last two months in the country. Tomar hoped that Pawar “will change his stand” and “explain the benefits of the laws to farmers.” He also said Pawar is such a veteran leader, “I would like to believe that he was genuinely misinformed of the facts.”
“Pawar is considered well-versed with the issues and solutions relating to agriculture. He has himself tried hard to bring the same agriculture reforms earlier,” the agriculture minister said.
Tomar was referring to Pawar’s position as the Union agriculture minister for 10 years in prime minister Manmohan Singh-led government.
Tends of thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders for more than two months now against the new farm laws. They are demanding a repeal of the laws and a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for the procurement of their crops. Agitating farmers claim that the new laws will weaken the MSP system, despite the Centre seeking to assure them in vain that the MSP system was here to stay and the new laws would only provide more options for farmers to sell their produce.
The government has held several rounds of talks with the leaders of the farmers but has failed to bring any resolution to the matter so far.