Nothing new in talks supply: Farm unions

Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 21

Farmer leaders today said they were always ready for dialogue, but claimed that there was nothing new in the Centre’s latest letter to them seeking a date for the next round of talks. After launching a relay fast, the leaders said they would take a call on the invite at Sanyukt Morcha meeting at Singhu on Tuesday.

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Sukhdev Singh Kokriwal said they would study the contents of the letter before sending a reply to the Union Government. Saying that the invite is “meaningless” since they won’t settle for anything less than repealing of the laws, BKU’s Rattan Mann said they did not want to close the channel for talks. “We don’t want the government to accuse us of being non-cooperative. But there is nothing new in the offer letter that hasn’t already been considered and rejected,” he said.

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Another leader, Harinder Singh Lakhowal, said the invite was “vague”. “The government should have clearly mentioned the date and time of the meeting and the name of representatives who will talk on its behalf. The letter just says that the government is willing to talk to the farmers at a place and time of their choice,” he said.

Farmer leader Joginder Ugrahan too said: “We will deliberate on the invite, although it does not promise much as repealing of laws is our only demand.”

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said the government had mentioned that it wanted to hold talks over its earlier proposal of amendments in the laws. “On this issue, we had refused to talk to them earlier,” he said.

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