New Delhi: When Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik went to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the farmers’ issue recently, he says he ended up fighting with the PM, who was “very arrogant”, within five minutes.
Addressing a social function at Dadri in Haryana, Malik said,”When I went to meet the Prime Minister to discuss the farmer issue, I ended up fighting with him within five minutes. He was very arrogant. When I told him that 500 of our own (farmers) had died… he said, ‘Did they die for me?’ I told him yes, since you are the king. I ended up having an argument with him. He told me to meet Amit Shah and I did.”
Later, speaking to media persons in Dadri, when asked about the government’s decision to repeal the farm laws and the farmer’s pending demands, he said, “What more could the PM have said other than what he said… We (farmers) should get decisions done in our favour. We should take their help to get legal guarantee for MSP instead of doing something that spoils everything.”
“Some issues are still pending. For instance, there are cases (against farmers)… the government needs to show honesty on that count and withdraw the cases. Similarly, legal MSP will have to be done.”
Malik has attacked the Union government multiple times in the recent past over the farm laws. In November, speaking in Jaipur, he had said the Centre will have to eventually concede to the farmers’ demands. He also said that every time he speaks on the farmers’ issue, he has an apprehension for a couple of weeks that he might get a call from Delhi. Stating that a Governor cannot be removed, he said “well-wishers” keep waiting for him to say something which might lead to his removal.
Malik also said, “If the government thinks that this agitation has ended, it has not… The agitation has only been suspended. If injustice or atrocity is committed on farmers, then it will start again. I will be with them (farmers) whatever the situation.”
He said when a dog dies, the PM sends letters to offer condolences.
Mr Malik has been taking swipes at the government and the BJP leadership, especially on the farmers’ issue, and has often reiterated that he is not scared of being asked to step down from his post. He was appointed governor — in Jammu and Kashmir and Goa, before being posted to Meghalaya.
His remarks come after the three controversial farm Acts were withdrawn by the centre in November 2021, days before one of the longest-standing protest by farmers on Delhi borders was to complete a year on November 26.
PM Modi had said a committee of state and central representatives, farmers, and experts would be set up to make the minimum support price mechanism more transparent and effective.
Taking advantage of the opportunity after the farm laws have been repealed, farmers should get decisions made in their favour such as a legal framework for MSP, Mr Malik said.
Last month, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the three farm laws could be re-introduced at a later date. “We moved a step back and we will move forward again because farmers are India’s backbone,” he had said.