There was a need to provide farmers with a level playing field, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday came out strongly against those who had "hijacked" the farmers' agitation for their own vested interests.

“I consider the Kisan Andolan to be Pavitra (pure). But, when Andolanjeevis hijack Pavitra Andolans, showcase photos of those jailed for serious offences, does it serve any purpose?" he asked during his reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in the Lok Sabha.

He questioned whether not allowing toll plazas to work or destroying telecom towers served the purposes of a "Pavitra Andolan' (pure agitation).

"There are people who talk the right things. But this same section, when it comes to doing the right things, fail to convert words into action," Prime Minister Modi said.

Giving examples, he pointed out that those who talk big on electoral reforms oppose the One Nation One Election concept; they speak of gender justice but oppose Triple Talaq.

Such people mislead the nation, pointed out the Prime Minister.

Noting that the farm bills were optional, Prime Minister Modi said that those who were disrupting the House were doing so as part of "a well-planned strategy".

While senior ministers were discussing the issue with the farmers' representatives, no 'mandi' (market for agriculture produce) had been shut. Similarly, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and procurement under the system had continued, Prime Minister Modi pointed out.

He also referred to this year's Union Budget, saying it had proposed to strengthen the mandis to help the farmers.

Hitting out at those who were disrupting Parliament's proceedings, he said the people who were doing so were unable to digest the fact that people were seeing the truth."Through their games, the trust of the people can never be won," Prime Minister Modi remarked.

Noting that many progressive legislations came due to the demand of the times, he said the farm laws were optional, "but we cannot wait for things to be asked".

"We should take responsibility and keep working for the welfare of the people according to the needs of the country. We have worked for change in the country and if intention is right, good results are bound to be there," he said.

Referring to the status of small farmers, the Prime Minister said fragmentation of land holding was leading to a worrisome situation where farmers were not getting viable returns from their fields and investment in agriculture is suffering.

"Steps are required for small farmers. Therefore we need to work for making our farmers Atmanirbhar and give him freedom to sell his harvest and infuse diversity in crops," Prime Minister Modi said.

The Prime Minister stressed that investment in agriculture will lead to more employment. There was a need to provide farmers a level playing field, modern technology and instil confidence in them, he pointed out, adding that this will require positive thinking as old ways and parameters will not work.

During his reply, Prime Minister Modi also highlighted the vital role of the private sector even though the public sector was important. He also spoke about the steps being taken to strengthen infrastructure across the country to create new opportunities for the poor and middle class.