As Protest Continues, Two Unions Meet Tomar to Support Farm Laws

Farmers affiliated to Indian Kisan Union and Kisan Sangharsh Samiti from UP and Delhi met Narendra Singh Tomar.

3 min read
Widows and mothers with portraits of their kin who died by suicide, owing to farm debts, during ongoing protest against controversial farm laws.

Even as the stand-off between the Centre and the farmers continues, several farmers affiliated to the Indian Kisan Union and Kisan Sangharsh Samiti from Uttar Pradesh and Delhi met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday, 22 December to extend support to the new farm laws.

“Representatives of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Gautam Budh Nagar, UP and Indian Kisan Union, New Delhi gave memorandum in favour of new farm laws. They thanked the prime minister and said that these laws will improve the conditions of farmers and should not be repealed,” Tomar said after the meeting, as quoted by ANI.

The meeting comes as leaders of the protesting farmers’ unions earlier on Tuesday said that the central administration is wasting their time by inviting them for a new round of talks and reiterated their demand of complete revocation of the Modi government’s agriculture laws.

“The government has decided its position regarding the farm laws that they will not be withdrawn. They released a letter stating that if farmers want amendments in these laws, they must provide the date and time for discussion,” Sarwan Singh Pandher of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee said at the Singhu border.

“This is not a step forward by the government, but a way to trick farmers. A normal person would think that the farmers are stubborn but the fact is that we don't seek amendments in farm laws, we want them to be completely shunned,” Pandher said, as quoted by ANI.

‘Boris Johnson Shouldn’t Come to India Till Farm Laws Are Repealed’

Earlier, the farmers’ unions held a meeting in which certain groups decided to write to British MPs to not let Boris Johnson visit India for Republic Day celebrations in January 2021, until the farm laws are taken back.

“In today's meeting, it was decided what decision will be taken on the proposal sent by the Centre,” ANI quoted Jamhoori Kisan Sabha General Secretary Kulwant Singh Sandhu as saying while addressing the media at the Singhu border.

“The UK PM is scheduled to visit India on 26 January. We are writing to British MPs asking them to stop the UK PM from visiting India till the time farmers' demands are not met by the Indian government,” he further said.

Sandhu had earlier said that leaders of several unions will decide their next step after the meet.

“They have just given a five-page letter describing what happened in earlier meetings. This is time-pass tactics,” he added.

‘Government not Sincere in Efforts’

The agriculture ministry had written to Dr Darshan Pal, the president of Krantikari Kisan Union, urging him to set a date for the next round of talks in a bid to address the concerns of farmers.

However, Pal told The Indian Express that the government is “not sincere” in its efforts.

The national president of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, Shiv Kumar Kakka also said the government is “just going through a formality.”

The spokesperson for Bhartiya Kisan Union Rakesh Tikait also expressed that it will take “more than a month” to resolve all their issues, and the “farmers won’t go back till the government takes back all three farm laws.”

Baldev Singh Nihalgarh, the general secretary of Kul Hind Kisan Sabha (Punjab), echoed this sentiment, calling the Centre’s letter as “nothing but the insult of farmers and their protest in the severe cold.”

Several farm union representatives, including BKU (Ugrahan), the largest farmers’ union in Punjab, are set to attend a meeting of over 30 unions on Tuesday to decide on a response.

An umbrella body, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) also sent a letter to the Agriculture Ministry, writing that they “never declined to participate in the talks”.

(With inputs from ANI and The Indian Express)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!