FARMERS’ PROTEST … Talks in Delhi fail to sort problems out; another meet on December 3


NEW DELHI: A meeting held between farmer leaders and the Union Government on discussing their demands did not help much in sorting out the issues, but the two sides agreed to hold another round of talks on December 3. Farmer leaders said they would continue with the week-long agitation including blockade of the entry points to the national capital.

The offer by the government side – represented by three ministers – was that a committee would be set up to look into the problems raised by a group of 35 farmer organisations, but this was rejected by the farmer leaders.

The farmers’ unions want the government to repeal the recent legislations for the agricultural sector, passed by Parliament and turned into law by the Modi government by way  of reforms in the agriculture sector. 

Farmer leaders say this will result in dismantling of the Minimum Support Price for wheat and other farm produces that is now on offer to farmers. They also fear that farmers will, henceforth, be at the mercy of big corporates who will, under the new law, directly purchase produces from farmers. 

The meeting lasting over three hours was held at the Vigyan Bhavan here, participated by farmer leaders as also Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways and commerce minister Piyush Goyal and junior minister for commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab.

The idea of the government, it is explained again by three ministers, is to eliminate middlemen, who so far exploited farmers.

The Bharat Kisan Union (Ekata Ugrahan) is leading the farmers’ agitation, which has outside backing from the Congress and the two Communist parties.

The farmers are holding peaceful sit-ins at entry points to the capital. They are mostly from Punjab and Haryana, and the epicentre of the protests are the Singhu and Tikri borders as also the Ghazipur border. IHN-NN


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