Farmer leaders protesting against the agriculture law on Thursday said they would take part in the ninth round of talks with the government, but did not expect much from the talks as they would consider nothing less than repealing the controversial law.
Farmer leaders protesting against the agriculture law on Thursday said they would take part in the ninth round of talks with the government, but did not expect much from the talks as they would consider nothing less than repealing the controversial law. A final meeting between the central government and the farmers’ union is likely to be held on Friday between the panel set up by the Supreme Court to end the stalemate on the issue of agricultural law on January 19.
“We will hold talks with the government tomorrow,” Indian Farmers Union (Ekta Ugrahan) leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan told PTI. We don’t expect too much from Friday’s meeting, as the government will refer to the panel formed by the Supreme Court. The government has no good intentions to solve our problems. Singh said the farmers’ union did not want any committee. “We want to provide a legal guarantee for the minimum support price of our crops by simply repealing three agricultural laws,” he said. Another farmer leader, Abhimanyu Kohar, said the government was aware that the court law could not be repealed. He said the central government should stop harassing farmers with their sentiments sitting on the Delhi border from November 26. Kohad said forming committees is not a solution, parliament has made new laws and the court cannot take them back.
No success was found in the previous eight rounds of talks between the central government and the peasant leaders. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday that the government was hopeful that Friday’s meeting would yield some good results. In an interview to PTI-Bhasha, Anil Ghanwat, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed panel, said the committee would not consider it a matter of “ego or prestige” if given a chance to speak to farmers in protest. Asked if the farmers had a parallel dialogue with the central government despite the formation of a committee by the court, Ghanwat said, “I think this will be their last meeting with the government. They will say that after that you have to discuss with the (farmers) committee. The report will be submitted to the Supreme Court.
Regarding the reluctance of the farmers’ unions to take part in the activities of the committee, Ghanbat said, “We will go to them.” We are his brothers and sisters. We have worked together in the past. We will go to them, sit down with them and discuss the matter. No problem. Farmers ’organizations say they are willing to take part in the schedule talks with the government, but have refused to appear on the court-appointed panel and have also questioned its members. Bhupinder Singh Mann, president of the Indian Kisan Union, said on Thursday that he was distancing himself from the four-member committee appointed by the court. Farmers’ organizations and opponents called the court-appointed panel “pro-government” and said all its members had already openly supported the agricultural law. Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states have been protesting at various borders in Delhi for the past 50 days. They are demanding the repeal of three laws and a guarantee of a minimum support price for their crops.
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