‘Don’t think Anna Hazare will join farmers’ stir, haven’t done anything against them’: Nitin Gadkari
Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday that the government has not done anything against the farmers by bringing the three farm laws. He also said that the government is ready to accept all good suggestions from farmers about the three laws.
Gadkari said he doesn’t think social activist Anna Hazare will join the farmers’ agitation.
“I don’t think Anna Hazare ji will join. We have not done anything against the farmers. It is the right of farmers to sell their produce in mandi, to traders or anywhere else,” Gadkari told news agency ANI.
He also said that dialogue is the only way to find a solution to protest by farmer unions and a break in talks can lead to miscommunication.
“If there is no dialogue, it can lead to miscommunication, to controversy and sparring. If there is a dialogue then issues will be resolved, the whole thing will end, farmers will get justice, they will get relief. We are working in the interest of farmers,” Gadkari said.
Hazare had on Monday written a letter to Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar warning “resumption of a hunger strike” against the Centre fails to fulfil his demands including the implementation of the recommendations made by M S Swaminathan Commission.
The anti-graft activist had sat on a fast in February last year over his demands. He called off the fast on February 5, 2019, after receiving a written assurance from then Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh that the Centre would form a high-powered committee to discuss the suggestions made by the Swaminathan Commission and other agriculture-related demands.
Hazare had observed a fast on December 8 in support of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmer organisations demanding a repeal of the Centre’s three agri laws passed in September.
Meanwhile, the Centre has expressed willingness to hold another round of talks with the farmers to sort out their issues. But the protesting farmers said they are ready for talks again but with certain conditions.
The conditions set by the farmer organisations are: Talks cannot be about old proposals which farm unions have rejected; the government should draw up a new agenda and discussions must be focused on a repeal of the farm laws.
The riders appear to put the onus on the government to draw up an agenda acceptable to the farmers.