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farm laws: Previous governments lacked courage to effect farm reforms due to poll-focussed mindset: PM Modi

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farm laws: Previous governments lacked courage to effect farm reforms due to poll-focussed mindset: PM Modi 2

Solang Valley (HP): Taking a swipe at the opposition’s protest against farm reform laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday those parties also had the same idea but lacked the courage to implement these measures because they focussed on elections while his government looked at the country’s and farmers’ welfare.

Addressing his second public meeting after inaugurating Atal Tunnel in Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh, Modi said those protesting against the laws wanted farmers to live in the previous century, and are now jolted by his government’s attack on middlemen.

The ruling BJP has cited the Congress manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to assert that the opposition party had also promised the same laws which the Modi government has enacted to allow farmers to sell their produce outside state-controlled ‘mandi’ but is now criticising them for political reasons.

Modi also spoke of the benefits of new labour sector laws and said reforms will continue as his government works to realise its goal of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (Self-Reliant India), asserting that regulations of the previous century will not work in a new century.

Our reforms have troubled those who have always worked for political benefits, he said, adding that new labour reforms have given women same salary and opportunities as men had so far.

Their mindset remained the same while the century changed, he said, attacking the opposition. “You cant enter the next century with the mindset of the past century,” he said.

Modi said his government’s reforms, including digitisation of services and direct transfer of money, have saved time and money while rooting out corruption.

The government is constantly trying to reduce problems of the masses, he said.

Modi stopped his address twice when he saw a person having some medical issues and directed officials to attend to him.

The prime minister also addressed a public meeting at Sissu village in Lahaul-Spiti region earlier in the day, where he asserted that a major transformation has been effected in the government’s way of functioning and new schemes are no more based on the quantum of votes from an area as the only focus now is ‘development for all’.

This was his first public rally in more than six months ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced a nationwide lockdown in March. People were seated far from each other as per social distancing protocols at both the public meetings.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur were also present at the public meetings.

Singh highlighted the strategic importance of the tunnel, saying it will make soldiers’ deployment and movement of weapons and ration easier.

Earlier in the day, Modi inaugurated the strategically important all-weather Atal Tunnel and lashed out at the Congress-led previous governments, saying strategic projects were neglected and defence interests were compromised for years.

The tunnel, built at a cost of about Rs 3,300 crore, is extremely significant from the point of view of the country’s defence.

Built by the Border Roads Organisation, it has been billed as the longest highway tunnel in the world and reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km. It also reduces travel time by four to five hours.

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