Farm law protests: Farmers to decide on Centre’s invitation for sixth round of talks on Wednesday | 10 points
Protests against the Centre’s three contentious agricultural laws entered day 27 on Tuesday. The deadlock between the government and farmers’ unions continues as the former has repeatedly stressed that it won’t take back the laws while the unions are adamant that they want nothing short of a repeal. On Tuesday, farm union leaders said that they would discuss the Centre’s invitation for the sixth round of talks, on Wednesday.
Here are the latest developments from day 27 of the anti-farm law protests:
1. Kulwant Singh Sandhu, a farmer leader from Punjab, said that farmers’ unions will decide on Wednesday whether to accept Centre’s invitation for the sixth round of talks and to decide a “convenient date” for the said meeting.
2. The Centre had on Sunday written a letter to farmers’ unions in this regard, adding that they could decide a date of their choice. Total five rounds of talks, including one each on December 1, 3 and 5 have taken place between the two sides.
3. Sandhu further said that the unions would write to British MPs to put pressure on UK prime minister Boris Johnson to not visit India as the chief guest for the Republic Day ceremony on January 26.
4. Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Punjab unit of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee called the government’s offer “not a step forward but a way to trick farmers.” He reiterated that the farmers want the laws to be “completely shunned.”
5. Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar met leaders of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU). “Some farmer leaders from Uttar Pradesh met me to extend their support to the farm laws. They said that no amendments should be made in the three laws,” Tomar told the media after the meeting.
6. “Representatives of Kisan Sangharsh Committee, Gautam Budh Nagar UP and Indian Kisan Union, New Delhi gave memorandum in favour of new farm laws. They thanked the PM & said that these laws will improve the conditions of farmers & shouldn’t be repealed,” the Union agriculture minister said.
7. Earlier in the day, protesting farmers blocked both carriageways of the Delhi-Ghaziabad border at Ghazipur. As a result of the blockade, traffic from Delhi towards Ghazipur and Ghaziabad on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway was severely affected. Later, they opened one side of the road.
8. On Wednesday, the nation will observe the 118th birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, the country’s fifth prime minister and a revered figure among the farmers. December 23 is celebrated as Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day.
9. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, farm union leaders had urged people to skip a meal on December 23. They had also urged people to bang utensils during prime minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat radio programme on December 27.
10. Farmers, majority of whom are from Punjab, have been protesting against the three farm laws on various borders of Delhi, since November 26. They have repeatedly said that they have come prepared “for a long haul.”