Even as farmers' unions intensified their agitation against the Centre's three farm laws and observed a day-long fast on Monday, Madhya Pradesh agriculture minister Kamel Patel on this day made a contentious remark regarding the farmers' organisations steering the agitations across India.
Kamal Patel compared the farmers' organisations protesting against the Centre's agri laws to "kukurmutta". He was referring to a mushroom which sprouts from the spot where a dog urinates.
The minister's remark can be heard in this clip posted by Zee News.
The state agriculture minister was addressing a press conference in Ujjain, as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s outreach programme to sensitise farmers on the new farm laws, where he said, "Farmers' organisations have started sprouting up like kukurmutta."
Patel expressed shock at the fact that there were as many as 500 farmers' organisations protesting against the central government's contentious laws, and said, "500 farmers' organisations! It almost seems like these have come up just now. They aren't farmers' organisations at all, but organisations of pimps, brokers, and anti-nationals."
The minister alleged that these "so-called' farmers' organisations" were actually working for "foreign powers" which don't have India's best interests at heart.
"They're being sponsored by these foreign powers, and we'll expose them promptly with the help of law," Patel warned on a vigorous note.
Notably, MP agriculture minister Kamal Patel had earlier on this day said that BJP has always considered interests of cultivators.
“We will hold chaupals in every village to make them aware about the benefits of farm laws. Farmers will no longer incur losses,” Patel told mediapersons in Ujjain on Monday.
The minister’s statement comes in wake of BJP making all possible efforts to reach out to every farmer in the state over three farm laws.
He had made similar statements in Khandwa recently and said three laws will bring revolutionary changes in the life of farmers. He said they will bring prosperity to farmers and boost agrarian economy as they will be able to establish agriculture-based businesses and industries.
Patel said farmers should not be misled by Opposition parties. Under new laws, mandis won’t shut down, but they will become smart mandis.
“MSP of agricultural produce won’t be nullified. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan are determined to make agriculture a profitable business,” he added.
On the other hand, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Monday that government is engaging with farmer leaders to decide on the next date of talks.
Tomar is leading the negotiations with 40 farmer unions, along with Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Parkash.
Previous five rounds of talks between the Centre and 40 farmer unions' leaders have remained inconclusive.
The government has sent a draft proposal along with written assurance of continuing the minimum support price (MSP) system to them for consideration, but farmer unions have rejected it and demanded repeal of the laws.
These laws are meant for transforming the lives of farmers, Tomar said, adding that the government policy and its intention behind these laws are clear.