New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With protests against the three agri-marketing laws completing 70 days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday staunchly defended the legislations in his address in Lok Sabha and attacked the opposition for misleading agitators over the issue. The Prime Minister said the government and the Parliament have great respect for the agitators, though the reforms are necessary to empower the agriculture sector.

The Prime Minister slammed Conress as a "divided and confused party" for his different stands in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha over the issue after the latter staged walkout during the address. Shortly after Congress, members of the Trinamool Congress too staged walkout. 

The Prime Minister said the government was ready to discuss the three legislations clause by clause and make necessary changes if needed. 

"This house, our government, and we all respect farmers who are voicing their views on the farm bills. This is the reason why topmost ministers of the government are constantly talking to them. there is a great respect for farmers," PM Modi said.

"After the laws relating to agriculture were passed by Parliament, no 'mandi' has shut. Likewise, MSP has remained. Procurement on MSP has remained. These facts cannot be ignored," he said. 

The Prime Minister cleared that old agriculture marketing system will continue and those who do not want the new system can continue with the old system. He said there is a need to bring investment and modernise agriculture empower the sector. 

"I am surprised for the first time a new argument has come -- we did not ask, so why did you give. Be it issue of dowry or triple talaq, no one had demanded laws to deal with them, but the laws were made as they were necessary for progressive society," he said.

The Prime Minister accused the 'Andolanjeevis' of hijacking the protest against the three laws. He said it is important for the country to differenciate between 'Andolanjeevis' and 'Andolankaris'.

Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister said India has managed the crisis successfully and has emerged as a ray of hope for the world. 

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Lakshay Raja