The interaction between GOI and representatives of the agitating farmers’ organizations held in New Delhi ended inclusively on Tuesday, December 01 as both sides remained firm on their oft-repeated stands. The agitating farmers demanded the withdrawal of the recently enacted farm laws approved by Parliament. The government has made it clear that there is no question of rolling these back. The MSP -Minimum Support Price -for agriculture produce and the APMC continue and will not be abolished as per the new laws. Farmers say the news legislations are in favour of corporates. They decided to meet on Thursday again to break the logjam.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar, who led the GOI side, claimed the dialogue is on the right track. The crucial meeting was also attended by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash. The Kisan leaders accused the Modi government of being only interested in talks and doesn’t want a solution to the farmers’ protest. While the Modi government has maintained that the new farm laws – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 – will provide better opportunities to the farmers, the agitating ‘Kisans’ have expressed apprehension over the three laws that would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system. Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) delegation had another round of talks with the government in the Agriculture Ministry. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot opined that said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should come forward to resolve the impasse with farmers. “There is growing concern not only in the country but in other countries as well, where a sizable number of Persons of Indian Origin live, regarding protest of farmers in India. PM Modi ji must take the lead to resolve this impasse. Farmers’ genuine demands must be met,” Gehlot tweeted. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the government proposed to form a committee to deliberate on the issues of farmers. He confirmed that the farmers’ delegation didn’t accept the proposal. Tomar said that the meeting was good and the government wanted a small group to discuss the issues, but all unions want to talk together and hence the government and farmer leaders will again meet on Thursday, December 3, 2020. “We appeal to the farmers to suspend the protests and come for the talks. However, this decision depends on farmers’ unions and farmers,” Tomar added. Edited by PK Chakravarty