‘Govt Letter is Propaganda to Show We Don’t Want Talks’: Farmers

The government said that it is ready to address all the issues raised by the farmers.

Updated
India
3 min read
The Centre on Thursday, 24 December, wrote another letter to the farmers protesting over the new farm laws and reiterated its proposal to hold discussions over the ongoing standoff as per the convenience of the unions.
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The Centre on Thursday, 24 December, wrote another letter to the farmers protesting over the new farm laws and reiterated its proposal to hold discussions over the ongoing standoff as per the convenience of the unions.

The government's letter asking for fresh discussions is coming a day after farmers’ appealed to the Centre to come up with a ‘concrete offer’ and not ‘repeat meaningless amendments’ that have been previously rejected, reported PTI.

The government said that it is ready to address all the issues raised by the farmers.

“The government wants to reiterate it's commitment to resolve the issues raised by the farmers logically. In the previous letter dated 20 December, too, the government had stated that it is ready to address all issues raised by the unions, be (it) verbal or written, with a positive outlook,” the letter said.

While the government said that it is necessary to keep communication channels with the farmers open, it also considers having dialogue its responsibility.

Farmers’ Ask For Repeal Of Laws In Agenda Of Fresh Talks

Senior morcha leader, Shiv Kumar Kakka, observed that a guaranteed Minimum Security Price is essential to the farmers’ demands, and the government must include the ‘repeal of the three farm laws in the agenda for a fresh round of dialogue’.

Speaking to PTI, he said, “The government is not serious about our demands and they are writing letters every day. The new letter is nothing but a propaganda being created by the government against us to give an impression that we are not interested in holding talks"

"They (government) can say that the laws will not affect the MSP, but the fact is that if the FCI (Food Corporation of India) is not there in the market, who will buy our crops at the MSP?” said Vice President of All India Kisan Sabha (Punjab), Lakhvir Singh, claiming that despite 23 crops coming under MSP, only wheat, rice, and sometimes cotton is bought at MSP, stating that legal guarantee of MSP is essential to the farmers’ demands.

The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, on behalf of its 40 farmer union members, will meet on Friday, 25 December, to discuss the letter and formally respond to it.

“The three laws will not in any way affect the system of MSPs that has been in place since before the laws were passed and will not affect the existing MSPs in any way. The matter has been discussed in every session of talks and it has been assured that the government is ready to give in writing that the MSP system will not be done away with,” he said.

The government further said that it is ready to discuss all other issues than the ones of electricity bills and stubble burning that were raised in the meeting on 3 December.

“We request you that the government with a saaf niyat and an open heart is ready to discuss the matters and end the agitation, as it has been doing so far. I request you to kindly inform a time and place of your choosing. At the same time, please give a list of issues that you also need to be discussed,” the letter said.

The letter from the Centre comes just a day after several farmers’ unions slammed the government for allegedly trying to divide the farmers’ unions and claimed that the Centre is pretending to hold talks with leaders who have nothing to do with the movement.

The farmers’ representatives also said that they are ready to hold talks but the government needs to create a conducive atmosphere for the same and not repeat the ‘meaningless’ amendments.

Meanwhile, PM Modi will release the amount at 12 noon on Friday, 25 December, via video conferencing even as the farmers' protests entered the 28th day on Wednesday. This will be the seventh instalment under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme – a direct transfer scheme for the farmers.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) confirmed that Modi will transfer more than Rs 18,000 crore to over nine crore beneficiary farmer families with the push of a button.

The Prime Minister will also have a conversation with the farmers from six different states during the event, the PMO statement added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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