Gwalior, Jun 8 (PTI) The government is ready to talk with the agitating farmers on “options other than the farm bills”, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday.

Farmers have been agitating on Delhi borders against the three new farm laws since November last year.

“The Central government has always talked in the interest of farmers’ welfare, and it is ready to talk with farmers,” Tomar said, speaking to reporters here.

“If the farmers’ organisations are ready to discuss options other than the agriculture bills, then the government is ready to talk with them,” he added.

Tomar, who represents the Morena seat in the Lok Sabha, is on a tour of Gwalior-Chambal region.

Asked about the rising inflation, the minister said, “The government is keeping an eye on the prices of lentils and edible oils.” The prices of lentils have come down after the government released stocks, but the prices of mustard oil have increased as the government has decided that no other edible oil will be mixed in it to ensure purity, he said.

The decision will benefit farmers, Tomar claimed.

The BJP leader also dismissed media reports that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be replaced.

“In Madhya Pradesh the BJP has a permanent government and there is no chance of any change in the leadership,” he said.

When told that Congress leaders were speculating about a change in the leadership in the state, Tomar said, “There is a BJP government in MP and it will decide who will be its chief minister. The party has already decided that Chouhan is chief minister…Congress has no right to talk about the BJP’s CM.” On rumours of cabinet expansion at the Center and the state, he said it was a prerogative of the prime minister and the chief minister, respectively. PTI COR MAS KRK KRK


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