For talks, farmers demand ‘concrete’ proposal from authorities

Tribune News Service

Sonepat/New Delhi, December 23

Farmers’ unions today reiterated their demand for repealing the three agri laws even as the Centre is gearing up for its outreach programme wherein PM Narendra Modi will release Rs 18,000 crore to over 9 crore beneficiaries under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi on December 25.

Replying to the Centre’s December 20 offer for fresh talks, the unions said they were ready for it provided the government sent them a “concrete” proposal. They said they never demanded amendments to the Acts, but wanted the laws withdrawn. Union leader Yogendra Yadav said they had already rejected the government’s amendment proposal.

“We have not received any concrete offer yet. We have sought legal guarantee on MSP and if the Centre sends such a proposal, we will respond positively,” he said. The leaders alleged the government won’t succeed in its efforts to defame the protest as it had already become a people’s movement.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, meanwhile, expressed hope for an early resolution. He reiterated the government was ready for talks as per the farmers’ convenience.

“I am hopeful that the unions will consider our offer. Whatever they want to add or subtract from the proposal, we are ready to listen,” Tomar said, as the Confederation of NGOs of Rural India presented him “letters in support of the Acts signed by 3,13,363 farmers”.

On December 25, the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, PM Modi will release the next installment of financial benefit under PM-Kisan. The PM will also interact with farmers from six states. “They will share their experiences regarding the scheme and various other initiatives taken by the government for their welfare,” Tomar said.

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