Talks on December 29, farmers set 4-point agenda


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/New Delhi, December 26

The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint forum of farmers’ organisations protesting at the Delhi borders against the Centre’s farm laws, today decided to resume dialogue with the government. It has proposed December 29 as the date for talks.

The Morcha put forth a four-point agenda — modalities for repealing the three farm laws and a mechanism for remunerative MSP (as recommended by the National Farmers’ Commission) and a legally guaranteed entitlement for agricultural commodities. The other two proposals are — amendments to the Commission for the Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance in order to exclude farmers from the ordinance’s penal provisions and lastly changes in the draft Electricity Amendment Bill to safeguard the interests of the farmers. The Morcha wanted the dialogue to proceed in that order.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmers’ unions protesting at the Delhi entry points. Dr Darshan Pal, a union leader, said it was also decided that farmers would organise a tractor march on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway on December 30. “We appeal to the farmers from surrounding states to turn up in large numbers in their tractor-trailers.

“If the government doesn’t want us to block the KMP expressway, the three farm laws must be repealed before that,” said Pal.

He also urged the residents of Delhi and other parts of the country to celebrate New Year with the protesting farmers on the Delhi borders and enjoy ‘langar’ with them. He said the call for suspending fee collection at toll plazas —earlier for three days — had been extended indefinitely.

In their reply to the government’s December 24 letter, the unions have accused the Centre of “suppressing facts” on the deliberations held in the previous meetings. “We have consistently demanded repeal of the three laws. The government, however, has tried to portray as if we were seeking amendments. The government must not spread misinformation. The campaign launched by the entire state machinery to defame the farmers’ movement must stop forthwith,” the morcha said in its response addressed to Vivek Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture.

Centre may not agree to repeal demand, say govt sources

The farmers’ condition of repealing the three laws is unlikely to be accepted by the Union Government and it may only be ready for certain amendments, said govt sources. PM Narendra Modi had hinted at the same while addressing farmers at a PM-Kisan scheme event on Friday.

Former MP Khalsa quits BJP

Chandigarh: Former Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa on Friday resigned from the BJP to protest the alleged insensitivity shown by the party leadership towards the farmers’ stir. Before switching to the BJP, Khalsa had won the LS poll on AAP ticket. TNS

Month on, 50 lives lost in stir

Chandigarh: Around 50 farmers have died over the past one month after the protests against the three agriculture laws started on the Delhi borders. Fifteen of them died over the past fortnight either in accidents or of health issues, mainly triggered by cold weather. “Their sacrifices won’t go waste,” said a union leader. TNS

NDA ally beniwal quits

Jaipur:
Rashtriya Loktantrik Party convener and Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal on Saturday announced a split from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the farm laws. “I am not stuck with Fevicol with the NDA. Today, I separate myself from it,” he said. PTI



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