Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on December 27 assured farmers that the minimum support price (MSP) for their agricultural produce and mandis will continue and asserted that no one can take away land from farmers.
"It's unfortunate that those who don't even know about farming, are misleading innocent farmers. This government never intended to stop MSP, neither it will in future. Mandis will also be maintained. No 'Mai Ka Lal' (mother's son) can take away land from farmers," Singh said.
His remarks came while he was addressing people of Himachal Pradesh via video-conference on completion of 3 years of Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in the state.
"Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has successfully run the government for 3 years. I congratulate people of Himachal," he said.
"When UPA was in power at Centre, Himachal Pradesh received only ₹22,000 crores. When the Modi government came to power, we gave 3 times more, considering the economy of Himachal Pradesh, not its size," he added.
Farmers have been protesting since last month at the Singhu border against 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.
Farmer unions have held several rounds of talks with the government and attended a meeting called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.Meanwhile, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint front of almost 40 farmer organisations, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare accepting the Centre's offer for dialogue and proposed December 29 as the next date for the meeting.