New Delhi: As protests over the contentious agriculture bills entered its 28th day on Wednesday, demonstrators at Delhi’s Singhu border held a meeting to chalk out a strategy to counter Centre’s outreach program. Soon after the meeting, several representatives of the farmers’ union held a press conference to address the media. ALSO READ | Farmers Observe Half-Day Fast On Kisan Diwas, Call On Further Talks With Centre Likely
While explaining further plan of action, Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav told reporters that farmers are ready for talks with Centre and are waiting for government to take discussion forward with an open mind and neat intention.
Addressing a press conference, a farmer leader said they were ready for talks, but the government should send a concrete proposal for that to happen.
After their internal meeting, farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka sid that we have already told Home Minister Amit Shah that protesting farmers will not accept amendment. “Central government should create conducive environment for talks with protesting farmers,” he said.
Kakka also said that the government should abandon its stubbornness and accept the demands of farmers. All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Molla said that government wants to tire us out so farmers’ protest ends.
Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar earlier today said the government will continue with reforms in the farm sector as they are still due in many areas, even as he reiterated his hope that protesting farmers will soon come forward to resume their dialogue with the Centre to resolve their concerns over three new laws.
The government has already sent a draft proposal to unions offering at least seven amendments to the three legislations that were enacted in September.
“I am fully hopeful that our farmer unions will discuss… If they give a date and time, the government is ready for the next round of talks. I am hopeful that we will move towards resolving the issue,” Tomar told reporters.
So far, at least five rounds of formal talks with the protesting unions have failed to break the deadlock, but a number of other farm groups have been meeting the government in the meantime to extend their support to the new laws.
While the government has presented the three laws as major reforms, protesting farmers fear they would weaken the mandi and MSP systems and leave them at the mercy of big corporates. However, the government has maintained these apprehensions are misplaced and has accused opposition parties of misleading the farmers.
Meanwhile, the government today also received six boxes of letters with signatures of 3,13,363 lakh farmers from 20 states, including Punjab through NGO CNRI in support of the farm laws. Of these, 12,895 farmers from Punjab have signed in favour of the laws, while 1.27 lakh such farmers are from Haryana.