Centre complicating issue, says Rakesh Tikait

Rakesh Tikait

NEW DELHI: Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “They (Centre) are complicating the matter, when did we say that the MSP system is ending, we only want a law on it.”

It has been over two months since the farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders against the three farm laws enacted by the Centre. Modi has appealed to the farmers to end the agitation.

The Prime Minister told the Rajya Sabha that the MSP is not going to end and there is an emphasis to modernise the mandi system.

Speaking on the farmers’ agitation, Modi said many things were discussed about the farmers’ movement, but everyone is silent on the main issue of it.

The PM said, “I assure the Upper House that the mandis would be modernised. The MSP was, is and will always be in place. More than 80 crore people will continue to get ration at cheap rates. Our Union Agriculture Minister (Narendra Singh Tomar) has discussed it very well.”

Responding to PM Modi’s statement, Tikait said, “We never said that the MSP is going to end rather we want a law on it. The law on MSP will only benefit the farmers. Due to the lack of law on MSP, the traders purchase the produce at half the rate.”

The BKU spokesperson said, “Initially, the protest was tagged as a protest of Punjab then it was tagged as Jat and Sikh protest. This is a farmers’ protest and all the farmers of the country are united and same. None of them are big or small.”

“The price of produce can’t be fixed as per the demand. We won’t let people trade on the interests of the farmers,” he added.

On Modi’s appeal to end the agitation, Tikait said, “If the government wants to hold a discussion, we are ready for it. The government will have to talk to our committee.”

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