Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 1
Sources say the farmers’ unions have rejected the government’s offer to form a committee/panel to discuss the new farm laws, demanding nothing but a rollback.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had offered to form the committee, however, jathebandis said that the time for formation of the committee is over and they now want a concrete decision on their issues.
The unions were asked to propose names for the proposed committee. The unions also know that agitating farmers at borders will not be satisfied with the meeting, which is generally perceived as a way to put an issue in cold storage.
While they have held two meetings earlier, this one is different as it comes amid the massive farmers’ agitation right at the doorstep of the country’s power centre.
Both sides have a huge responsibility riding on their shoulders to deliver, a reason why this meeting is different from previous ones.
While farmers are adamant to continue the protest if things don’t go their way, there are practical aspects to the resolve as well.
Observers say to carry on protests forever may not be tenable for farmers while for the government such optics are bad news.
Farmers are a huge electorate and this particular agitation cannot be equated with earlier agitations faced by the BJP-led Centre, like anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh.
Farmer unions have said their stand on the three “black” laws, the newly-enacted ordinance on Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCR and the Electricity Bill 2020 was “non-negotiable”.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led Centre maintain “the new farm laws have been brought for effective implementation of the promises made to farmers. They will empower farmers and give them more options. However, those who played tricks with interests of farmers have launched a concerted disinformation campaign”.