Leaders of 25 farmer groups meet Tomar, support new farm laws

Centre invites farmer unions for talks on 30 December, says committed to find logical solution with open mind.

Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest on Delhi’s borders, representatives of around 25 farmer organisations on Monday gave a memorandum to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in support of the new farm laws.

“Today representatives from different farmers’ organisations from all over the country gave memorandum in support of the new farm bills and said these are in the interest of farmers and should not be taken back. They also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” an official statement said.

The farmer delegations met Tomar to convey support for the laws ahead of the next round of talks between the government and protesting farmers on 30 December.

The government on Monday wrote to protesting farmer unions inviting them for the next round of talks on 30 December and said it is committed to finding “logical solution” to relevant issues with “honest intentions and open mind”.

In the letter to the farmer organisations protesting against new farm laws, Secretary, Agriculture Ministry Sanjay Agarwal said that the farmers in their communication to the government had said that “they have always been ready to talk with an open mind”. The letter came two days after the farmer unions said that the government had been urging them for talks and proposed that the talks be held on 29 December at 11 am.

Agarwal said in the letter that the meeting will discuss the three farm laws, the minimum support price structure besides the ordinance to curb air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region and electricity amendment bill.

The letter in Hindi said that the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha had sent an e-mail on 26 December in which it had accepted the request of talks by the government and informed about the date and time of next meeting. “You have apprised that the farmer organisations have been ready for talks with an open mind and will remain so. The government is also committed for a logical solution of the relevant issues with honest intentions and an open mind,” the letter said.

It said the meeting for “an acceptable solution” will be held at on December 30 at 2 pm at Vigyan Bhawan with the ministerial committee.

The farmer unions protesting against the three farm laws had on Saturday proposed holding the next round of talks with the government on 29 December. They had said the first two points in their agenda for talks were modalities to repeal the three farm laws, and mechanism and procedure to bring a law for providing a legal guarantee on MSP.

The farmer unions had on 23 December rejected the government proposal for talks, urging it not to repeat the “meaningless amendments” which have been rejected before and to come up with a concrete proposal in writing.

Farmers are protesting on Delhi borders since 26 November against agriculture laws recently enacted by the government. They are protesting against 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. They are demanding the repeal of the three laws.

The farmer unions have held five rounds of talks with the government and attended a meeting called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.


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