Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday reiterated the demand to enact a law on the minimum support price (MSP). Speaking to news agency ANI after PM Narendra Modi's speech in Rajya Sabha, Tikait said that farmers are being looted by the traders and that a law will ensure that the farmers sell their produce at good rate.
"When did we say that MSP is ending? We said that a law be formed on MSP. If such a law is formed, all the farmers of the country will be benefitted. Right now, there is no law on MSP and the farmers are looted by traders," he said.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi in Rajya Sabha made a fervent appeal to protesters to end their agitation against the new farm laws and reiterated that the new laws will not do away with the mandi system and the MSP.
"Give agri reforms a chance, open to changes," he said. "MSP was there. MSP is there. MSP will remain in the future. Affordable ration for the poor will continue. Mandis will be modernised," the PM added.
PM Modi underlined that his government since 2014 has initiated changes in the agriculture sector aimed at empowering the farmer and accused the opposition parties of a sudden 'U-turn' on the reforms.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders for over two months demanding rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. They are also demanding a law on the MSP. Farmers are opposing the laws, terming them against their interest as it will dismantle the mandi system and the MSP structure. Besides, they believe that the laws will give power to corporates over their lands.
However, the three laws -- enacted in September 2020, have been projected by the Central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country. The government has repeatedly assured the farmers that these three laws will not do away with MSP and mandis.
READ MORE: 'Give farm reforms a chance, open to changes': PM Modi appeals farmers to end agitation