The meeting between the leaders of the farmers agitating against the farm laws and the government on Tuesday was inconclusive and another round of talks is going to take place on Thursday. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the meeting with representatives of the protesting farmers was “good” and the next round of talks was scheduled for Thursday. The minister told the media after Tuesday’s talks that the government was keen on forming a group, but the farmer leaders wanted the talks to be for everyone.
“The meeting was good and we have decided that the talks will be held on 3 December. We wanted a small group to be formed but the farmer leaders wanted the talks to be with everyone, we have no problem with that.” The minister said. Tomar also appealed to the farmers to suspend their protest. “We appeal to the farmers to postpone the protests and come for talks. However, this decision (to suspend the movement) depends on the farmers’ union and the farmers.
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The government, during the meeting at Vigyan Bhavan, suggested setting up a committee to look into the issues raised by farmers against the new agricultural laws, but during their marathon meeting with three Union ministers, representatives of 35 agitating organizations Rejected it. Finished without any resolution. The government also made a detailed presentation to farmer leaders on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act during the meeting.
Demonstrative farmers are apprehensive that Centre’s farm laws will pave the way for the abolition of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. The government has ensured that the new laws will provide better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.
In a nearly three-hour meeting at Vigyan Bhavan, Tomar was accompanied by Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash, an MP from Punjab.
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After the meeting, Bharat Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said that it remained inconclusive and the government called another meeting on 3 December. Ugran, the leader of one of the biggest blocks of farmers, who has opposed the new. Laws, stated that the government would arrive at a solution after listening to representatives of farmer organizations. Roop Singh Sana, a member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), told RTI, “Farmers’ organizations rejected the government’s proposal to form a five-member committee to look into issues related to the new agricultural laws.”
However, the government was firm in its stand that a high-level committee should be constituted to look into the issues and the peasant representatives should consider the proposal. PTI quoted sources as saying that the ministers were of the view that it is difficult to arrive at a decision while negotiating with such large groups and hence suggested a meeting with a small group, but the farmer leaders were firm that they would collectively See you as soon as possible.
Union leaders said they feared that the government might try to break their unity and the momentum of their opposition. “The government asked us to name 5-7 members to form a small committee for better discussion, but we declined it. We said that we will all be present, ”said BKU (Dakonda) Bathinda district president Baldev Singh. “The government is pushing for a small group because they want to divide us. We are very well aware of the tricks of the government.
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After the meeting held at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi, a member of the farmers’ delegation said that their agitation against the three agricultural laws would continue. “We will definitely withdraw something from the government, it will be bullets or a peaceful solution. We will come back for more discussion with them,” Chanda Singh said according to ANI.
News agency PTI quoted officials as saying that another round of meetings took place in the evening with the Indian Farmers Union (BKU) representatives in the Ministry of Agriculture. BKU leader Naresh Tikait also said that another delegation of farmer leaders was meeting the government at 7 pm. He said issues other than the recently enacted agricultural laws were also likely to be discussed, and mentioned electricity rates for farmers among potential negotiation points.
While the meeting was expected to be attended by representatives from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Uttarakhand, Tikait told reporters on the Delhi-Ghaziabad border that the meeting is on its way. The meeting began soon after the end of the first meeting with a much larger group at Vigyan Bhawan, where the peasant representatives were unanimous in repealing the three laws demanding that they be against the interest of the farming community.
Opposition parties have also stepped up the pressure, asking the Center to “respect the democratic struggle” of farmers and repeal the laws.
An earlier meeting held on 13 November had failed to reach a breakthrough and the next one was originally scheduled for 3 December, but it advanced due to ongoing protests on Delhi’s borders. Peaceful sit-ins by farmers in Punjab and Haryana continued on the Singhu and Tikri borders, with the number of protesters increasing, with no untoward incident reported after the violence on Friday.
(With agency inputs)
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