New Delhi: The protesting farmer unions on Saturday said they were ready to resume the talks with the government and have proposed December 29 as the date for the next round of dialogue to resolve the deadlock over the Centre’s three farm laws. Also Read - Farmers Prepared To Protest Till May 2024: BKU Leader Rakesh Tikait
The decision was taken at a meeting of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions protesting at various Delhi border points against the new agriculture laws. Also Read - Farmers Can Ask For What They Want Except Repeal of Farm Laws: Agriculture Minister
Addressing a press conference, farmer leaders made it clear that the modalities for the repeal of three farm laws and guarantee for MSP — minimum support price at which the government procures crops from farmers — should be part of the agenda for resuming talks with the government.
Farmer leader Darshan Pal said that it was also decided that farmers will hold tractor march on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) highway on December 30 in protest against the Centre’s agri laws.
“We request people from Delhi and other parts of country to come and celebrate New Year with protesting farmers,” Pal said.
Another farmer leader, Rajinder Singh, said, “We will march from Singhu to Tikri to KMP. We ask farmers from surrounding states to come in huge numbers in their trolleys and tractors. If the govt doesn’t want us to block the KMP highway, then they better announce the repeal of the three farm laws.”
In a letter to Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Vivek Aggarwal, the Morcha said, “We propose that the next meeting between the farmers’ representatives and the Government of India be held on December 29 2020 at 11 am.”
“As the government is willing to hold talks with us and asking us for date and our issues, we have proposed to hold dialogue on December 29. Now, the ball is in the court of government when it calls us for talks,” Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait told PTI.
Thousands of farmers have been camping at three Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — for nearly a month, demanding repeal of three agri laws enacted in September and a legal guarantee on minimum support price.
While the government has presented these laws as major reforms aimed at helping farmers, protesting unions have maintained these acts will leave them at the mercy of big corporates by weakening the mandi and MSP systems.
On Wednesday, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, had asked the government to not repeat the proposal of “meaningless” amendments that they have already rejected but to come up with a “concrete offer” in writing for the resumption of talks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday squarely blamed those with a political agenda for the deadlock in the Centre’s talks with the protesting farmers and asserted that his government was willing to hold dialogues with all, including those staunchly opposed to it, as long as talks are based on farm issues, facts and logic.
(With inputs from PTI)