As Prime Minister Modi released funds to more than nine crore farmers under 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi' scheme, countless politicians took to social media platforms on Friday afternoon sharing their views on the ongoing farmers' protests. Others still give speeches or spoke to the media to make their point.
As the farmers' protest entered its 30th day, Prime Minister Modi emphasised that the government was still open to talks, as long as these were "based on facts". At the same time the protesting farmers had earlier this week asked the government to cease repeating "meaningless" amendments to the new laws that they had already rejected. They have sought a concrete proposal in writing for another round of talks.
But on Friday, as PM Modi spoke about the farm laws and other schemes aimed at benefiting farmers, several prominent leaders took it upon themselves to lend their voice.
"The Opposition is speaking brazen lies. I again reiterate that the MSP will continue and the mandis will not be closed. Farmers' welfare is the top-most priority of the Modi government," asserted Home Minister Amit Shah. The years-old demand of one and half times MSP on crops has been implemented by the Modi government during 2014-19, he said.
Union Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to farmers to try the three new farm laws as an "experiment" for a year or two and in case they are found not beneficial for the farming community, the government will do all necessary amendments.
Union minister Smriti Irani launched a scathing attack on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of "lying and misleading" farmers over the Centre's recent farm laws. Gandhi had recently been a part of a delegation that had visited the President to convey the concerns of people and seek the retraction of the three laws.
"Rahul Gandhi is telling lies and misleading farmers. He is shedding crocodile tears for farmers and misleading them, his own jija (brother-in-law) has encroached upon the land of farmers," Irani said at a farmers' rally in her parliamentary constituency Amethi.
Many others including union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also took to the microblogging platform showering praise on PM Modi and hailing the PM-Kisan scheme. While there were countless tweets by well known handles using the scheme as a hashtag, many of the tweets devoted themselves to the ongoing protests.
This in turn has prompted a counter-trend of sorts as Opposition parties hit back at the NDA leaders. While the party handles had several choice things to say about the Prime Minister and the administration, party leaders also lent their voice to the criticism.