It's a week since farmers blocked the highways leading to Delhi, protesting against the Narendra Modi government’s new farm laws. Newslaundry's Nidhi Suresh speaks to Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, who is also one of the leaders who met agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday.
Rajewal talks about the farm laws, the farmers’ concerns, and why they are asking for legislation to guarantee the minimum support price.
Calling the farm laws “unconstitutional”, Rajewal maintains that the farmers are firm that the laws must be repealed. “I don’t think we should waste time over clause by clause discussion because the act is not constitutional,” he argues.
The farmers are set to meet the government for another round of talks on Wednesday.
He says, "The government says these laws are in our favour. Our question is, who asked for these laws? Which farmers' organisations have demanded the government to help us? We had no such demands.”
About legislation on MSP, Rajewal says, “MSP, without state procurement, means nothing...What is the use of MSP if the state government doesn’t buy it? MSP should be a legal right...The government is not telling the truth about MSP.”
On the media, Rajewal says: “We have got enough media coverage. Our problem is that not every farmer can explain the reality of all the issues. Our appeal to the media is to show the real picture. Like you, they can do a session with us and show the real picture.”
Text by Anukriti Malik.
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