Amid protests by a section of farmers against farm reform bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that a large number of peasants have benefitted since fruits and vegetables were brought out of the APMC Act in some states a few years ago and asserted that grain-producing farmers will now have the same freedom.
In his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast, Modi also took a swipe at economic policies pursued by successive Congress governments since Independence. Had the country followed the essence of Mahatma Gandhi’s economic philosophy, there would not have been any need for the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign as India would have become self-reliant much earlier, he said.
Lauding farmers for strengthening the country’s agriculture sector, he said the farm sector is playing a major role in efforts to build a self-reliant India and showed its prowess during the COVID-19 pandemic. The stronger it is, the stronger will be the foundation of a self-reliant India, he said. The prime minister said he receives many letters from farmers and also interacts with farmer groups, as he spoke of changes taking place in agriculture and new dimensions being added to it.