Meerut (Uttar Pradesh) [India], December 18 (ANI): Amid the ongoing farmers' agitation in the country, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said the parties which were members of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) were misguiding farmers about the three agriculture laws.
Speaking at a Kisan Sammelan (farmers' conference) in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut, Irani said the leaders opposing the farm laws never worked for the farmers' welfare and questioned what was so "objectionable in the laws" that Congress and other UPA supporters are protesting against them.
"It is for the first time in their lifetime that poor farmers have a Pradhan Sevak who is providing them with a health cover of Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat, and made arrangements for cooking gas cylinders for them. The opposition leaders opposing the farm laws never worked for them. They are doing politics on the bills. What's so objectionable in the bills that the Congress and other UPA supporters are protesting against it?" Irani asked.
She claimed the government had held discussions on the laws with farmers' unions six months before they were passed in Parliament, and added that House was also assured that the minimum support price would not be discontinued.
"After 20 years of discussion, the bill was presented in the country's parliament post the discussions with farmers and organisations six months before they were passed. The House was assured that the MSP would not be discontinued. Do not fall prey to the opposition," she urged the farmers.
The Union Minister said that during the six years of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tenure, the government provided Rs 8 lakh crores as MSP payments, while UPA in its 10 years of tenure only provided Rs 3.5 lakh crore to farmers as MSP payments. (ANI)