Two days after his statement in Nagpur snowballed into a controversy, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Tomar on Sunday clarified that the government has no proposal or plan to bring back farm reform laws.
"Honourable Prime Minister had declared to repeal the three farm laws to honour the farmers' demand. There is no proposal or plan to bring back the farm laws," Tomar said.
Tomar's remark at Nagpur on Friday that farm laws would be brought back -- "We had brought in the farm laws, but a few people were not happy with it...We moved a step back and we will move forward (on farm laws). Farmers are the backbone of India" -- had drawn criticism from opposition. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Saturday, "The Agriculture Minister has insulted the apology sought by (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi."
Tomar, in a statement, "Congress has been trying to mislead people to hide their own failures. The farmers should be wary of such attempts."
Stating that the Swaminathan Committee report was submitted in 2006 but the then Congress government sat on the report instead of implementing the recommendations therein, Tomar said, "Under Prime Minister Modi's leadership, we have implemented the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee."
He also recounted the various steps taken by the Modi government over the last seven years to bring in farm sector reforms. "Farmers are being empowered through the payment of Rs 6,000. The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Bima Yojana has come as a boon for the farmers facing losses due to natural disasters. The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund worth Rs one lakh crore and 10,000 farmer producers companies (FPOs) have led to innovations in the farm sector."