Talks right now, farmers agency on four calls for

Mukesh Tandon

Tribune News Service

Sonepat, December 29

The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 protesting farmer unions, on Tuesday stressed it would hold talks with the Centre as per the four-point agenda decided by it.

Formally accepting the invitation of the Union Government for the next round of talks, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha in a letter today to Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said: “The farm unions will hold talks on the four-point agenda sent earlier to the government.”

The farm leaders sent the four conditions again to the Centre while emphasising that for a logical solution to all relevant issues, it would be required that “our dialogue runs according to the agenda”.

Harinder Lakhowal, BKU (Lakhowal) Gen Secy

Threaten tractor march

We are going for talks with an open mind, but the Centre’s intention is not clear. We will organise a tractor march on Dec 31 if the government doesn’t accept our demands.

The agenda includes modalities to be adopted for the repeal of the three Central farm laws; mechanisms to be adopted to ensure MSP is a legally guaranteed entitlement; amendments to the Commission for the Air Quality Management ordinance to exclude farmers from the penal provisions; revocation of the proposed Electricity Amendment Bill to protect farmers’ interests.

The unions also clarified that they had earlier sought “necessary changes” in the Electricity Amendment Bill draft but now they wanted it to be revoked.

The Centre had yesterday invited 40 farm unions for the next round of talks on December 30 at 2 pm at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. Responding positively, the unions had accepted the invite.

Harinder Singh Lakhowal, BKU (Lakhowal) general secretary, meanwhile, said: “We are going for talks with the government with an open mind, but the latter’s intention is not clear. The Centre wants the impasse to continue and defame the protest.”

“We will organise a tractor march on December 31 if the government doesn’t accept our demands,” he added.

Dissociating from vandalisation of mobile towers, he said: “We only appealed to people to give up connection of a particular telecom company.” Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three agricultural laws for the past 33 days at the Delhi borders.

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