PM Narendra Modi defends farm laws

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Highlights

Questions Oppn's 'intellectual dishonesty'

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday defended farm reforms saying sections of the political class opposing the move were intellectually dishonest as they had supported the reforms when in power.

Promising resolution of any disagreements farm unions may have with respect to the three agriculture reform bills, PM Modi, in an interview to a magazine, said, "If you look at those who are opposing the pro-farmer reforms today, you will see the real meaning of intellectual dishonesty and 'rajneetik dhokhadhadi'."

The PM's veiled reference was to the Congress-led Opposition which has been demanding a repeal of the farm laws.

Speaking on the need for reforms, Modi said India shouldn't be put in a situation where it had to wait any longer for things the country and its people were entitled to. "For this, big decisions should be taken and if need be, tough decisions should also be taken. In such a large country as India, is it possible to make a decision which is acceptable to 100 per cent people, asked the PM in context of farm laws that have led to a prolonged agitation by farm unions.

The Prime Minister said those opposing the laws are not wrong and may have their own genuine concerns "but if the decision is in larger interest, then it is the responsibility of the government to implement such a decision".

Questioning politics on farm laws, the PM attacked political parties for "intellectual dishonesty" and said if a party makes a promise and is unable to deliver, that is one aspect the party must improve upon.

"But there is another aspect which is completely different from this and is particularly undesirable and, I would say, detestable trait in certain sections of the political parties. This trait I am talking of is the trait of intellectual dishonesty and 'rajneetik dhokhadhadi'. There are political parties which will make grand promises before elections, even put them in their manifestoes. Yet, when the time comes to deliver on the same promises, these parties and people do a complete U-turn and worse, spread the most malicious kind of misinformation on the promises they themselves had made," said the PM.

He said these were the same people who wrote letters to chief ministers asking them to do the exact same thing that our government has done. "These were the same people who wrote in their manifesto that they would enact the same reforms that we have brought. Yet, just because some other political party, blessed by the will of the people, is enacting the same reforms, they have made a complete U-turn and in a brazen display of intellectual dishonesty, completely disregard what will benefit the farmers and only seek what they think will benefit them politically," Modi said.

"On farm laws, the government has been saying right from the first day that on whichever point there is a disagreement, the government is ready to sit together and discuss those issues. Many meetings have also been held in this regard, but no one till now has come up with a specific point of disagreement that we want this to be changed," said the PM. Attacking the Opposition, the PM said, "You can see the same 'rajneetik dhokhadhadi' when it comes to Aadhaar, GST, farm laws and even crucial matters such as arming our security forces. Promise something and make arguments for it but oppose the same thing later without any moral fibre."

In a no-holds-barred conversation, the PM said his approach is to run the government to build the nation and not to form the next government. "The politics of our country is such that till now, we have seen only one model in which governments are run to build the next government. I believe we have to run the government to build the nation," said the PM.

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