New Delhi: Amid the ongoing protests over new farm Bills 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday tried to mollify the farmers and referred to them as foundation of ‘atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India). Also Read - Modi Confident Reforms in Past Months Will Boost Manufacture & Agriculture; Says Everyone to Get Vaccine Shots

Addressing the nation through his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM talked about the contentious agriculture reform Bills, that were passed in the Monsoon Session 2020, and said that farmer can now sell anything they grow in their fields, not just fruits and vegetables, but wheat, rice, sugarcane, to whoever gives them the highest price.
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“Our agricultural sector has again shown its prowess during Corona crisis. Our farming sector, our farmers, our villages are the foundation of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. If they are strong, then the foundation of Atmanirbhar Bharat will also be strong. In recent times, these sectors have freed themselves from many shackles”, the prime minister stated. Also Read - Save Bihar From 'Jungle Raj': PM Modi Slams Lalu's RJD at Darbhanga Rally

He claimed that farmers have got freedom to sell not only fruits/vegetables but anything that they grow like rice, wheat, mustard, sugarcane to anyone paying better price. “3-4 years ago in Maharashtra, fruits/vegetables were kept out of ambit of APMC but this has changed”, he added.

He also highlighted the country’s rich tradition of storytelling and spoke about its importance amid the ongoing pandemic.

“History of stories is as ancient as the human civilization itself. ‘Where there is a soul, there is a story’…. In India, there has been a rich tradition of storytelling. We’re proud to be denizens of land that nurtured tradition of Hitopadesha and Panch Tantra”, Modi said.

He also urged people to strictly maintain social distance and wear a face mask till a vaccine against the novel coronavirus is developed.

During corona time-period, I would once again remind you — always wear a mask, do not venture out without a face shield. ‘Do Gaz Ki doori’ will protect you and your family. We shouldn’t forget Jab tak dawai nahi tab tak koi dhilai nahi (No carelessness till a medicine is found)”, said PM.