Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation in the 73rd edition of his radio show, Mann ki Baat on Sunday. The Prime Minister's speech - the first on the show this year, comes a day before his government presents its annual budget that is expected to boost spending on job-creation and rural development to mend an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Farmer unions are continuing their protests against three agriculture laws that the government enacted in September. Angry at the new agricultural laws that they say benefit large private food buyers at the expense of producers, tens of thousands of farmers have been camped at protest sites on the outskirts of the capital for more than two months now.
India was "deeply anguished" by the insult to the national flag on Republic Day last week, said Prime Minister, referring to farmers breaching the Red Fort in Delhi. Modi spoke about protesters hoisting flags at the Fort after hundreds of them deviated from agreed routes and breached the heart of Delhi. Farmers commandeered cranes and used ropes to tear down roadblocks miles from routes approved by the police, forcing the police in riot gear to fall back and let them pass during Republic Day celebrations.
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