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As the farmers' protest around the national capital entered its 22nd day, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar wrote an open letter to the farmers to "dispel the misconceptions" around the new reforms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi retweeted the letter and urged all farmers to read it.

Tomar started out by saying that several farmer unions have welcomed the three new laws and some farmers had already started availing their benefits. He told the farmers to not get influenced by the "lies that are being spread in and around Delhi".

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"It is my duty to expose the conspiracy being hatched to create a wall between the farmers and the Centre," said Tomar.

He said that he comes from a farm background and is well aware of the concerns a farmer might have. The minister also thanked them for helping to boost the country's economy through their hard work and produce.

Tomar pointed out that the government has this year procured produce in record numbers after the three laws were passed in Rajya Sabha. "At a time like this, when the government is trying to increase its MSP procurement, some people have been lying to the farmers that MSP will be discontinued," he wrote.

"I request farmers to identify the elements that are spreading lies for their own benefit and reject them," he said, adding that the government's utmost priority revolves around the welfare of farmers.

The agriculture minister said that APMC is functioning and will continue to. "With this, a free market will also let you sell your produce from the comfort of your house. The rent you have to pay to take the grains till the APMC will also be saved. The government has spent crores in the last five to six years to make the APMC technologically advance," he said.

Tomar said that lies about the reforms are being spread by those who have lost their political power.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Tomar had expressed his feelings through this letter and urged all farmers to read it.

"Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar has expressed his feelings through the letters. I request all farmers to read it," he wrote on Twitter.

Outreach programme

PM Modi will address a 'kisan sammelan' or farmers' conference to be held across Madhya Pradesh on Friday via video conferencing.

The address will begin at 2 pm and will be telecast to around 23,000 villages. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, along with his other ministers, will also participate in the event from Raisen district.

The event is a part of the government's latest reach out to the farmers, amid continuing protest on Delhi borders against the three new farm laws enacted by the BJP-led government at the Centre in September.

The outreach programme was reviewed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday. Shah held a meeting with Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar to discuss the ongoing farmers' agitation.

The meeting was held at the BJP head office and was also attended by the party's general secretaries CT Ravi, Dushyant Gautam and Arun Singh among others. It lasted for more than an hour.

The meeting was held on the day the Supreme Court heard a plea related to the farmers' protests against the Centre's three new agriculture laws.

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