Farmer unions say ready for talks, urges government to send a proposal for talks

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April 12, 2021 2:15 AM

The last dialogue was held on January 22 after which the government has not invited the farmer leaders for the talks saying it will wait till they “re-consider” (accept) its proposal to keep the laws in abeyance.

The response from the farmer unions, demanding repeal of three farm laws and enactment of a new legislation to guarantee purchases of crops at minimum support prices (MSPs), came a day after the union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked them to postpone the protest.The response from the farmer unions, demanding repeal of three farm laws and enactment of a new legislation to guarantee purchases of crops at minimum support prices (MSPs), came a day after the union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked them to postpone the protest.

Stating that they are ready for dialogue, agitating farmer leaders on Sunday urged the government to send a proposal for talks. The response from the farmer unions, demanding repeal of three farm laws and enactment of a new legislation to guarantee purchases of crops at minimum support prices (MSPs), came a day after the union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar asked them to postpone the protest.

“On the question of talks, the agriculture minister asked farmers to postpone the protest. Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) understands that this statement of the minister is not a suggestion but a condition that talks can take place after vacating the protest sites. Farmers have never refused to talk to the government. The government should send a proposal for talks, the farmer leaders are ready for talks,” Darshan Pal executive body member of SKM said in a statement on Sunday.

“The government is ready for talks and whenever they come we will discuss,” Tomar had said April 10 while appealing protesting farmers to postpone the on-going stir in view of second stage of Covid-19. He also had asked farmers to follow Covid protocols like wearing mask and maintaining social distancing.

The last dialogue was held on January 22 after which the government has not invited the farmer leaders for the talks saying it will wait till they “re-consider” (accept) its proposal to keep the laws in abeyance.

Even though farmer leaders are keen to resume the dialogue with the government, at the same time they have been continuing with their mass mobilisation programme against the three farm laws in various states. A team of farmer leaders also went to West Bengal and Assam and appealed to voters not to vote for BJP.

The SKM has been maintaining since November 27 last year, when the protest started on the Delhi’s border, to continue the stir until three contentious farm laws are repealed and a legally guaranteed MSP mechanism is put in place.

The Supreme Court, in January, stayed the implementation of the three farm laws and appointed a committee of experts to submit a report after talking to all the stakeholders. After the panel submitted its report, SC is yet to begin hearing on the issue. Farmer unions had also rejected the Centre’s offer to continue the discussion saying it was conditional on accepting the government’s proposal to withhold the laws for 12-18 months.

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