Farmers defer determination on talks invite

Mukesh Tandon

Tribune News Service

Sonepat, December 22

Firm on their demand for repeal of the three agriculture laws, protesting farmer leaders today said they would hold a meeting tomorrow to take a call on the Centre’s fresh offer for talks.

Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border near Delhi, farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu said representatives of the 32 unions from Punjab held a meeting and discussed strategy to intensify their protest.

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Harpreet Singh, a farmer whose photograph has been used by the Punjab BJP to drum up support in favour of farm laws, is actually sitting among the protesting farmers on the Singhu border since the first week of December. The photo was used on the party’s Facebook page. “I was first amused, then angry. How can they be so insensitive?” said Harpreet Singh. inside

Sandhu said a joint forum of farmers, comprising representatives of various unions, would meet tomorrow and decide whether or not to accept the offer for dialogue. He said they would also write to British MPs, urging them to pressure UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations. India has invited Johnson as the chief guest.

The Centre has sent a letter to 39 farmer unions, asking them to specify their concerns over its earlier proposal of amendments to the laws and choose a date for talks as per their convenience. The farmers had also decided to observe the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas at Singhu and Tikri borders on December 23, 26 and 27, said Sandhu.

A few farmer groups from Delhi and its neighbouring areas, meanwhile, met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and extended support on the farm laws. 

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