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Offer on farm laws still stands: PM

Offer on farm laws still stands: PM
Narendra Modi
NEW DELHI, JAN 30 | Publish Date: 1/30/2021 12:06:18 PM IST

 Opposition question handling of protests at all-party meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday told floor leaders of various political parties that his government’s offer on agri laws made to protesting farmers “still stands” and it was a “phone call away” for talks, days after violence broke out in parts of the national capital on Republic Day.
Addressing these leaders at the customary all-party meeting convened by the government for the smooth conduct of the Budget Session, the Prime Minister, responding to the references by opposition leaders about the “unfortunate incident” on Republic Day, said that the “law will take its own course”.
Sharing the details of the meeting chaired by Modi and attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, “The Prime Minister assured that the Centre is approaching the farmers issue with an open mind.”
“The Prime Minister said the Centre’s stand is same as it was on January 22, the last meeting between the protesting farmers and the Centre and proposal given by Agriculture Minister on the farm laws still stands. Modiji reiterated what Tomarji had said - that he (Narendra Singh Tomar) is phone call away for talks,” Joshi said, quoting Modi.
Emphasizing on the need for smooth functioning of Parliament, Modi said smaller parties suffer the most due to disruptions as they do not get chance to raise their issues.
“It is for the bigger parties to ensure Parliament functions smoothly, there are no disruptions and thus, the smaller parties are able to voice their views in Parliament,” Joshi said citing Modi’s remarks.
The all-party meeting is convened for the government to put forth its legislative agenda before political parties. Leaders from various parties flag issues they wish to raise during the meeting.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties demanded that the Prime Minister must convene a meeting of all party leaders and discuss threadbare the three farm laws. While unequivocally condemning the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day, the opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena, questioned the government’s handling of the farmer agitation. 
The opposition parties demanded an immediate inquiry into the Republic Day violence to find out who was responsible for it and they were also unanimous that the blame should not be put on the farmer leaders.
 TMC party leader in the Lok Sabha  Sudeep  Bandopadhyay , said that 20 opposition parties boycotting the President’s address on 29 January is a strong message for the government to withdraw the three farm laws. Bandhopadhyay said “This will be a good message that the government is democratic,” the party’s leader in Lok Sabha, as saying during the meeting. 
“Majoritarianism cannot let farmers suffer,” Bandopadhyay was quoted as saying. 
Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told reporters that the Prime Minister narrated what Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the farmers during discussions that he is a phone call away from them provided they accept the government’s proposal. 
Even the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), considered friendly to the ruling BJP, said the government should incorporate a specific provision in the farm law that the Minimum Support Price will not be removed. While almost all opposition parties condemned the violence and vandalism at the Red Fort by a group of protesting farmers on Republic Day, they asserted that other farmers protesting peacefully should not be held responsible for it.

-Tags:#PM Modi

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