Govt proposal to suspend farm laws still stands: PM at all-party meet

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing at the event to mark National Youth Day and Sarva Dharma Sabha at Belagavi, Karnataka via Video Conference, in New Delhi on January 12, 2018.

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) During the all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, ahead of the Budget session of Parliament, the Prime Minister said that the government still stands by the proposal given to the protesting farmers of suspending the three contentious farm laws for 18 months.

The Prime Minister assured that the government is approaching the farmers’ issue with an open mind.

He said, “The government’s stand is the same as it was during the meeting on January 22 – the proposal made by the Union Agriculture Minister still stands.”

The Prime Minister stressed that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that he is just a phone call away for talks.

Modi referred to the violence on January 26 and said that the law will take its own course.

He reaffirmed the importance of smooth functioning of Parliament and comprehensive debates on the floor of the House. He added that frequent disruptions mean smaller parties suffer as they can’t express themselves adequately.

He said 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.

The Prime Minister’s all-party meet was conducted a day after 18 opposition parties boycotted the Presidential address on Friday on the commencement of the Budget session of Parliament.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been repeating that the government should find solutions regarding the farmers’ agitation.

Along with the Congress, 17 opposition parties had announced a boycott of President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to express solidarity with farmers who have been protesting since November 26 on Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders along Delhi and other places to press for their demands, including repealing of the three farm laws.

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