President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday backed the newly-introduced agriculture laws, suggesting that they were long awaited. Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest against the laws, Kovind also praised the cultivators for ensuring farm produce despite natural calamities and the coronavirus pandemic.
“Some concerns about these laws may emerge in the beginning,” he said during his address to the nation on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day. “But the government is fully dedicated towards the welfare of farmers.”
The president’s comments came even as thousands of farmers continue to camp on the outskirts of Delhi for two months, demanding the repeal of the three agricultural laws passed in September, which they believe will undermine their livelihood and aid the corporate sector. The protestors have also decided to hold a tractor rally in the Capital on Republic Day.
President Kovind also praised the country’s scientists for developing vaccines against Covid-19 within a short span of time and said that their achievement was historic. On January 3, the government approved two vaccines, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield for emergency use in the country. Following this, on January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the countrywide vaccination process.
In an apparent reference to the border standoff with China in the eastern Ladakh region, Kovind said that while India remained committed towards maintaining peace, the armed forces were prepared to thwart any threat to the country’s security. His comment came hours after reports emerged of fresh clashes between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Sikkim. The relations between the two countries have hit a new low since clashes in eastern Ladakh in June, that led to casualties on both sides and firing of shots for the first time in 45 years.
The president also said that the year 2020 should be seen as a lesson in terms of conservation of environment. “Within a short duration, nature had regained its clean self last year,” he said. “We could witness the nature’s beauty after a long time.”