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PM Modi quotes Manmohan Singh to blunt Opposition offensive on farm laws

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New Delhi, Feb 08: Slamming the opposition for taking U-turn on farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday quoted former PM Manmohan Singh, who had once called for making one single market for agriculture produce.

Narendra Modi

Replying in the Rajya Sabha to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address, PMModi said, "Manmohan ji is here, I would read out his quote. Those taking a U-Turn (farm laws) will perhaps agree with him. 'There are other rigidities because of marketing regime set up in 1930s which prevent our farmers from selling their produce where they get highest rate of return. It is our intention to remove all those handicaps which come in the way of India realising its vast potential at one large common market.'

"Sharad Pawar ji, and those from Congress, everyone... all governments have stood for agricultural reforms. Whether they were able to do it or not, but everyone has advocated that it should be done," the prime minister added.

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PM Modi made a fervent appeal to protesters to end their agitation against the new farm laws even as he questioned opposition parties for their sudden "U-turn" on the agriculture reforms.

On the farm sector and the ongoing protest, Modi said, "MSP was there. MSP is there. MSP will remain in the future. Affordable ration for the poor will continue. Mandis will be modernised".

Modi said since 2014 his government has initiated changes in the agriculture sector aimed at empowering the farmer.

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    The crop insurance scheme was changed to make it more farmer friendly. The PM-KISAN scheme was also brought in, he added.

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