Farmers’ protest: Will there be 6th round of talks soon? 10 points
The farmers’ unions on Friday indicated that talks with the Centre on the three agriculture laws might begin soon though the unions are yet to reply formally to the last letter of the agriculture ministry. A decision regarding the further course of action is likely to be taken on Saturday.
Here are the latest updates:
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Union ministers on Friday reached out to farmers across the country, making it clear that repealing the laws — what the protesting farmers want — is not on the table.
2. In a major development, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday urged farmers to try the new laws as an experiment. “Let farm laws be implemented for a year or two. Let’s try this as an experiment, and if found not beneficial for farmers, the government will be ready for all possible amendments,” he said.
3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the government is ready to talk with opposition parties as well if the discussion is based on facts.
4. The protesting farmers are thinking of resuming talks with the Centre at this stage as they feel that the Centre has not clearly understood their demands.
5. In their last letter to the ministry, farmers raised the demand for a higher MSP. The ministry, in its reply, said as MSP is not under the purview of the three agriculture laws that are being discussed by the two parties, including MSP in the agenda is not “logical”.
6. Reacting to PM Modi’s address on Friday, farmers’ unions asked why the government doesn’t give in writing that MSP will have a legal guarantee. “In public speeches, the prime minister said the MSP will remain. Then why is he afraid of giving a legal guarantee for it? Why cannot the government give it in writing?” Shiv Kumar Kakka, a senior leader of Sankyut Kisan Morcha said.
7. Farmers also dismissed PM Modi’s claim of implementing the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Committee. “In election rallies, he says his government has fixed MSP as per the recommendations of the M S Swaminathan Committee. But in court, they say it was not possible to do so,” Shiv Kumar Kakka said.
8. The protesters on Friday picketed at highway booths, allegedly ransacked the venue of a BJP event at Bathinda. From December 26, there will be protests against corporates.
9. Amid reports that power supply to mobile towers was being disconnected by protesting farmers in different parts of the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday appealed to them to not inconvenience the general public with such actions.
10. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday claimed the Centre’s new agricultural reform laws will not benefit farmers in any way and do a lot of harm. “BJP says that these laws will not harm farmers. But what is their benefit? They say that now the farmers will be able to sell their crop anywhere outside the market. But outside the market, the crop is sold at half the price. How is this a benefit? The truth is that these laws will do a lot of harm and don’t have a single benefit,” Kejriwal tweeted.