Sushil Kumar Modi
Sushil Kumar Modi
PTI Photo

Former Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday, while paying tribute to former Union minister Arun Jaitley on his birth anniversary, said the farmers’ protest would not have continued for so long if Jaitley had been alive.

Sushil Kumar Modi told NDTV: "I am certain that had Arun Jaitley been alive today, the kind of problems the farmers are facing, over which this agitation is being held -- he would have definitely found a solution for it."

Amid the prevailing deadlock between farmers and the Central government over the new farm laws, the agitation of farmers entered the 32nd day on Monday. While the protests at the Ghazipur border that started on November 28 entered the 30th day today.

The three farm laws, enacted in September, have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. The Centre has repeatedly asserted that these mechanisms will remain.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tributes to his former cabinet colleague and late BJP leader Arun Jaitley on his birth anniversary, and said his warm personality, intellect, legal acumen and wit are missed by all those he closely interacted with.

Other BJP leaders also remembered the former finance minister who for many years remained the most articulate party voice on a gamut of issues and was considered one of its sharpest political minds. Born in 1952, Jaitley died in August last year.

"Remembering my friend, Arun Jaitley Ji on his birth anniversary. His warm personality, intellect, legal acumen and wit are missed by all those he closely interacted with. He worked tirelessly for India's progress," Modi tweeted.

In his tributes, Home Minister Amit Shah said Jaitley was an outstanding parliamentarian whose knowledge and insights had very few parallels. "He made a lasting contribution to Indian polity and served the nation with great passion & devotion. My heartfelt tributes," he said.

BJP president J P Nadda said Jaitley will be remembered as an articulate orator and capable strategist. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said remembering Jaitley's contribution to India's public life and his role in strengthening the party will always be remembered.

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