‘Last day of discussion’: Farmers ahead of talks with Centre on farm laws
Farm union leaders and the government will meet for the fifth round of talks on Saturday to resolve the deadlock over the three new legislation enacted earlier this year. Delhi’s border points remained choked as thousands of farmers from Haryana, Punjab, and other states are holding demonstrations for the ninth consecutive day.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal are meeting at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence in New Delhi Hours ahead of the talks between the government and protesting farmers over the contentious farm laws. The farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Here’s what farmers and their leaders have said so far on the issue:
1. “The government has just been issuing dates. All the organisations have unanimously decided that today is the last day for discussion,” a protesting farmer said.
2. Farmer leader Rampal Jat, president of Kisan Mahapanchayat, said that if Saturday’s talks are not concluded on a positive note, farmers from Rajasthan will march along National Highway-8 towards Delhi and camp at Jantar Mantar. “The government should announce to withdraw the three black laws and give in writing that minimum support price will continue. If any positive result doesn’t come out of today’s talks, farmers from Rajasthan will march along NH-8 towards Delhi and camp at Jantar Mantar,” said Jat.
3. A protester said they are hoping Saturday’s meeting with the government will be positive. “We won’t stop until the government agrees to our demands. We will make the movement bigger,” he added.
4. “If anything concrete doesn’t happen in today’s meeting with the central government then we will gherao Parliament,” another farmer said.
5. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) general secretary Harvinder Singh Lakhwal has called for a Bharat Bandh on December 8 if the government does not withdraw contentious farm laws, enacted in September. “We have planned to block all roads leading to Delhi in the coming days if new farm laws are not scrapped,” said Lakhwal. “Yesterday (Thursday), we told the Government that the farm laws should be withdrawn. On December 5, effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be burnt across the country,” news agency ANI quoted Ladkhwal as saying. “We have given a call for Bharat Bandh on December 8,” he added.
(With agency inputs)
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