Govt Talking to Farmers Not Affiliated to Us, Causing Rift: Unions

The unions also said that they are ready to hold talks but the government needs to create a conducive atmosphere.

2 min read
Farmers shout slogans during their protest against the new farm laws, at Ghazipur Border in New Delhi, Wednesday, 23 December, 2020.

Several farmers’ unions on Wednesday, 23 December slammed the Centre 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.

“United Farmers Front today has written a letter to the government. It states that the government shouldn't question the letter written by United Farmers Front previously as it was a unanimous decision. The government’s new letter is a fresh attempt to defame the farmers' association,” Swaraj India founder and activist Yogendra Yadav said in an address to the media, as quoted by ANI.

“We urge the government not to repeat those meaningless amendments which we have rejected but come up with a concrete proposal in writing so that it can be made an agenda, and the process of negotiation can be started as soon as possible,” Yadav added.

Yadav further alleged that the government is holding talks with ‘so-called farmers’ leaders’ who have nothing to do with the movement.

“The government is constantly holding talks with so-called farmers' leaders and organisations, who are not associated with our movement at all. This is an attempt to break our movement,” he said, according to ANI.

Shiv Kumar Kakka, National President of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, said that the farmers are ready for dialogue but not until the farm laws are withdrawn by the Centre.

“We urge the government to create a conducive atmosphere for a fruitful dialogue. Even the Supreme Court has asked to suspend the implementation of farm laws. This will lead to a better environment to hold talks,” Kakka was quoted by ANI as saying.

Yudhvir Singh of the Bhartiya Kisan Union said that the government’s approach clarifies its intention to break the morale of the protesting farmers.

The dealock between the Centre and the farmers has intensified as the unions have refused to hold talks with the Centre till the farm laws are withdrawn.

‘Tell us What You Want to Add or Subtract from Government’s Proposal’: Tomar

Earlier in the day, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Centre is ready for talks with the protesting unions at the time and date of their choosing, adding that the government is ready to "add and subtract" from the government's proposal.

“I am hopeful that farmers’ unions will discuss our request. Whatever they want to add and subtract from the government’s proposal, they should tell us. We are ready for a discussion at the time and date of their convenience. I hope they will give us a date and we will find resolutions. I am hopeful of a solution,” Tomar said in his address on Kisan Diwas, as quoted by ANI.

Tomar further said that the unions should understand the intentions of the laws and let the government know about their objections.

The farmers have rejected the invitation of talks sent by the Centre on Sunday, 20 December.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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