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Ramdev bats for Centre’s new farm laws

Yoga guru Ramdev on Tuesday came out in support of the Centre’s new farm laws being stiffly opposed by the farmers, but said the government should have initiated wider consultations with ryots before framing the legislations.

Ramdev called on Haryana’s Home and Health Minister Anil Vij at his office here on Tuesday.

“There is no mention of scrapping MSP in these laws nor there is any such intent of the government. In the recent past, I have talked to the prime minister, Union Home Minister, Agriculture Minister, but I never felt there is any plan of the government to end the minimum support price system,” he said in an informal interaction with the journalists at Vij’s office.

“Why will PM Narendra Modi frame policies against farmers. He is neither a slave of any MNC, nor of any corporate, nor he has any enmity with farmers,” Ramdev said, adding the prime minister’s intent is clear and “he wants to bring further improvement in the lives of peasants”.

He, however, felt that before bringing the three agri laws, the government should have held wider consultation with farmers.

“This situation (protests) could have been avoided. Now, they have to do this exercise. It may take time, but this issue will settle. The entire government is concerned and wants to resolve the issue at the earliest,” he said.

Ramdev said whatever he was saying on the farmers’ issue is what he felt right, and added that “I am not a representative of the government nor a BJP spokesperson”.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre’s farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

He said the existing mandis are not going to end, the MSP will continue, and with the enactment of the three farm laws, farmers will now have wider choice to sell their produce.

He said some ‘middlemen’ may have problem if farmers decided to sell crop outside mandis when he gets higher rates, but asked “why should farmers be chained”.

“And on the other side, if a farmer gets more price for his produce in nearest mandis than outside market, why should he not take the benefit,” he said, adding “I don’t think any government of the day can scrap MSP over the next 25-30 years”.

“If you were to ask the farmers and their leaders what is wrong with these laws, they may not be able to exactly tell that,” he said.

Earlier, Ramdev said that Yoga is his mission and he has been propagating it more, especially when the world is gripped by coronavirus pandemic.

He also felt that while various COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of development, once these are cleared and will be available in our country, the challenge will be to get it to masses in a huge population.

He said that Yoga asanas like Bhastrika, Kapal Bhati and Anulom Vilom can have multiple health benefits including strengthening lungs.

Ramdev thanked Health Minister Vij for taking steps to popularise Yoga in various spheres of life in the state, especially among the youth.

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