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Fact Check: Did Arvind Kejriwal support the three new farm laws?

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An old video clip from 2014 where Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal talks about the need for reforms in the agricultural sector has been edited and is being falsely shared claiming that Kejriwal supported BJP government's three new farm laws. 

In the wake of farmers' agitation against the three new farm laws, a video has surfaced on social media platforms claiming that Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came in support of the new farm laws. 

BJP MLA Candidate for Hari Nagar Vidhan Sabha 2020, Tajinder Bagga, shared the video with a caption in Hindi that can be roughly translated to, “After reading the bill brought by Modi ji @ArvindKejriwal G decides to support the bill. We heartily thank Kejriwal ji.” This tweet was reshared over 2,000 times and received over 5,000 likes.

Several other users on Twitter as well as on Facebook are sharing the video with the same caption. 

In the viral video, Kejriwal can be heard saying, "In the clip, Delhi’s chief minister can be heard saying, “Agriculture is a very important issue. I completely concede. And there are many dimensions to it, sir. The biggest one is agricultural pricing, the kind of prices that we are giving. And the amount of control we’ve placed on a farmer, we’re going to have to remove that. A farmer can only sell in a mandi? Why can’t he sell outside of it? Why can’t he sell outside his state, why only in his state? The amount of control we’ve garnered on a small farmer. The controls that you are unhappy with, are also displeased with the same. I think there is a need to de-regulate it. The Centre needs to step off and reconsider the prices. I’ll give you a small example…”

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has not supported the BJP government's new farm laws. The viral clip dates back to 2014 and in the video, Kejriwal's statement has been manipulated and is being shared out of context.

The viral video shows 'CII' written in Kejriwal’s backdrop. Taking a hint from this and on performing a relevant keyword search, we came across a longer version of the viral video uploaded on the YouTube channel of the Confederation of Indian Industry on February 17, 2014, with the title, "Interaction with Mr Arvind Kejriwal, National Executive Member, Aam Aadmi Party." The part shown in the viral clip can be found at the 7.22-minute timestamp.

The viral video is edited and Kejriwal's statement has been manipulated by removing the part where he talks about Minimum Support Price. In the original video, Kejriwal said, "Agriculture is a very important issue. I completely concede. And there are many dimensions to it, sir…I’ll give you a small example. I’m not sure whether it was wheat or rice. According to records of the Haryana government, the cost of production of that particular product is Rs 1,580 per quintal. And the minimum support price is Rs 1,250. You’re not even giving the farmer a cost at the minimum support price, how will he live? Obviously, there will be a problem. Swaminathan report says that we should give them cost plus 50% profits. If you start giving the farmer an honest profit margin..but there are many more complicated things.. we need many more things in agriculture. Maybe if you have ideas…”

Clearly, here, Kejriwal talks about the need of providing a higher MSP to farmers whereas MSP is the major point of contention in the new farm laws. 

In conclusion, an old video clip from 2014 where Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal talks about the need for reforms in the agricultural sector has been edited and is being falsely shared claiming that Kejriwal supported BJP government's three new farm laws. 

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