Amid the farmers marking the 100th day of their protest against the three central farm laws in Delhi on Saturday, March 6, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated that the government is ready to make amendments, but no one should say that the laws are flawed.
"During negotiations, I spoke about the prospects of amendments. But I also said the amendment proposals don't mean the laws are flawed. I put forth the proposal only because the face of their protests are farmers," NDTV quoted Tomar as saying.
"The three laws would help farmers obtain higher market prices, and also increase spending in the agricultural sector. However, no one seems to be willing to discuss how these protests will benefit farmers," he added.
He slammed opposition parties for politicising the issue and said opposition and difference of opinion are part of democracy, but neither of the opposition leaders gave reasons for their opposition to laws nor did they raised issues with any specific clause when the issue was being discussed in Parliament.
"When a change is brought, it becomes difficult to implement it. Some people make fun, some people protest it. However, if the policy and intent behind the change are right, people eventually accept it," the minister said.
The Supreme Court had halted the enforcement of these laws and formed a committee to resolve the Centre-farmer deadlock in January. Later, the government had also proposed suspension of the laws for 18 months, but the farmers were firm on their demand for the complete withdrawal of farm laws.
Despite 12 rounds of talks between the farmer leaders and the Centre, the impasse persists. Farmers also want a legal guarantee on the support price minimum (MSP). They said that the law's clauses would place them at the mercy of large corporations.
The protest, which began on November 26 last year, completed 100 days on Saturday. Earlier, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait 'advised farmers to be prepared for the long haul and urged them to follow a thumb-rule to strengthen the movement, i.e., one village one tractor, 15 men and 10 days on a rotational basis.