Open to Talks, But Not on Repeal of Farm Laws: Union Agri Minister
Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha accused the Union government of ‘defaming the farmers.’
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday, 18 June, stated that Centre has completely ruled out repealing the three contentious farm laws.
He, however, said that the government is ready to resume talks with regards to the provisions of the legislations with the protesting farmer unions.
In a video posted on his Twitter account on Friday, the Union minister said: “Government of India is ready for talks with farmers. Except for repeal, if any farmers' union wants to talk on provisions of the Act even at midnight, I will welcome it.”
Earlier, in January 2021, the Supreme Court had temporarily stayed the implementation of the three laws and appointed a four-member committee to resolve and negotiate with the farmers.
Around 11 round of talks were held between the Union ministers and the protesting farmers. The last meeting was held on 22 January, before the Republic Day violence broke out during the tractor rally to Red Fort.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s Response
After Tomar’s statement on ruling out the repeal of the three farm laws, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in a statement accused the Union government of ‘defaming the farmers,’ reported PTI.
“Every opportunity is being desperately seized upon to slander the protestors. However, their failed strategy is bound to fail again.”Samyukta Kisan Morcha
“What the farmers are asking for is that their fundamental right to livelihood is protected. In a democracy, it is expected the government would accept their legitimate demands. Instead, the BJP dispensation is unnecessarily prolonging the agitation, defaming it and hoping it will just dissipate. That is not going to happen,” the SKM said in a statement, according to PTI.
The SKM also stated that Maharashtra is reportedly in the process of amending its law to neutralise the ill effects of the Centre’s laws on its farmers.
Apart from Samyukta Kisan Morcha, leaders of various political parties had earlier written to the prime minister and sought repeal of the farm laws.
“Governments led by other parties in a few other states have stood with the farmers’ movement and joined their calls for a countrywide action.”Samyukta Kisan Morcha
Farmers Camp at Delhi’s Borders
For more than six long months, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at three sites – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – along Delhi’s border, demanding repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP).
The farmers have expressed their apprehension that the farm laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and it would do away with the the system of wholesale market or commonly known as “mandi” which in turn will leave them at the mercy of big corporates.
Though the farmers of different states have expressed their disregard to the implementation of the new three farm laws, the Centre has been holding up to their point stating that it would create major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
(With inputs from PTI)
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