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Day 56 of protest: Centre, farmers to hold 10th round of talks

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New Delhi, Jan 20, 2021-
Even as the protest by farmers on the Delhi borders continued for the 56th day on Wednesday, leaders of farmers were slated to hold the 10th round of talks with the Centre on their unfulfilled demands here in the afternoon.

The farmers are sticking to their demand for the repeal of three new central farm laws and a legal guarantee for the procurement of crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP) whereas the Union government is ready to bring about amendments in these laws.

Over 40 representatives of farmer organisations present in the previous rounds of talks would meet with three Union Ministers at 2 pm at the Vigyan Bhavan here. The meeting was earlier scheduled to be held on January 19 but was postponed by a day.

Punjab farmer leader Kirpa Singh said that farmer leaders would first like to deliberate on their core demand for the repeal of the three laws during the latest talks.

Punjab-based farmer leader and Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) General Secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said: “In the previous talks, we urged the Union government to discuss the MSP issue. We will again discuss it in this meeting as well.”

He also said that the issue of “harassment” of those supporting the farmers’ agitation by the National Investigation Agency would again be brought up in Wednesday’s meeting.

As for differences between farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Shiv Kumar Sharma Kakaji, Harinder Singh said that the two had buried the hatchet and stand united.

He asserted that all farmer unions and others spearheading the farmers’ movement were united and would continue the agitation till their demands were not accepted.

As for Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s remark that the farmer unions should discuss the new farm laws clause-wise, farmer leaders said that much discussion has been done on this issue for many days and they would rather like to discuss their core demand on repeal of the laws.

The farmers are demanding the repeal of The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020, and a law on procurement of crops at MSP.

The farmers have been sitting on Delhi’s borders since November 26, 2020. (Agency)

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