Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 5
The Centre and farmer leaders met here on Saturday to resolve the recent crisis.
Ahead of their meeting with farmers, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the matter.
While the Opposition parties in states namely Bihar and Tamil Nadu are mounting pressure, the agitation is now being seen as a ‘jan andolan’ movement of farmers, common people, and youngsters and farmer leaders are also under tremendous pressure not to budge from the stated stance.
The first round of talks for the day is over.
Sources say there is a 15-minute break in the meeting, the government has given a written reply to unions on the issues related to changes in the laws.
Farmers said they were willing to settle for nothing less than their stated stance and made it clear thar there was no middle path.
The meeting between 40 farmer unions and the Centre will resume soon at Vigyan Bhawan.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State Som Prakash and Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal have joined the talks from the government side while the Bharatiya Kisan Union, the Bharatiya Kisan Sanyukt Morcha and the Krantikari Kisan Union are among the 40 farm organisations represented at the meeting.
Ahead of the ‘nirnayak’ meeting, Tomar again expressed hope of positive results.
Sources say Home Minister Amit Shah also called up many union leaders, asking them to end the agitation.
Though the Government appears to be willing for amendments, union leaders are firm on their key demands—rolling back of the three “black” Central Acts, the Air Pollution Ordinance and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill.
With the farmers’ movement and demands growing by the day, there are concerns now regarding the length and breadth of the movement.
The government is under attack for allowing the movement to fester for long and sounding it only as a Punjab agitation.
As support pours in from across the country, farmer leaders also fear “attempts by the government” to “malign/break the movement”.
Farmer unions have given a call for ‘Bharat bandh’ on December 8. Farmers will also be burning effigies of the Modi government and corporate houses today.
Farmer leaders, including from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, collectively decided that they would go for the meeting but would sit through it only if the Centre assured that the three laws would be repealed and guaranteed MSP on all 23 crops across the country.