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Opinion

Amit Shah and Amarinder Singh will meet tomorrow before talks with farmers

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Punjab Prime Minister Amarinder Singh will meet with Union Interior Minister Amit Shah on Thursday ahead of the Center’s long-awaited meeting with representatives of agitated farmers. The Shah-Singh meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. M. Wednesday’s meeting between farmers and the Center is crucial, as this is the fourth meeting of its kind – all previous meetings were unsuccessful – on the complaints against the three agricultural bills recently passed by Parliament. Reports say Amarinder Singh will hold discussions with Shah in an effort to find an amicable solution to the deadlock.

Amit Shah, on Wednesday, held discussions with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on ways to allay concerns about agricultural laws.

On their seventh day, the farmers’ protests were shot in the arm, as transporters have also come forward calling for a nationwide strike from December 8 onwards. The All India Motor Transport Congress, the body that called the strike, represents some 10 million truckers, which will massively affect the movement of essential goods in North India.

Farmers protesting Wednesday demanded that the central government convene a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws. With the traffic in the capital unhinged on Wednesday by the protest, they have also threatened to block other roads in the national capital if their demands are not met.

The ongoing protests led to various divisions and disagreements so far. Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart ML Khattar traded Brickbats for “use of force” by the Haryana police against protesting farmers. On the other hand, Khattar demanded that he want to speak to Punjab CM about the farmers’ problems as he did not want the protest amid the Covid-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, Singh and Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal engaged in a verbal confrontation over the ongoing protests. Meanwhile, one of the farmers ‘organizations, Krantikari Kisan Union, alleged that the Center was dividing farmers’ organizations by projecting the ongoing protests as Punjab-centered.

Thousands of farmers representing more than 30 farmers’ organizations have been agitating in the national capital since Saturday, responding to the so-called “Delhi Chalo” against the agricultural marketing laws enacted in the Center in September.

Thursday’s meeting will be the fourth meeting on the issue and the second meeting amid the ongoing protest. More than 35 farmer leaders had held a three-hour meeting on Tuesday in Vigyan Bhavan with the ministerial delegation. Although their first round of talks on Tuesday did not yield a breakthrough, both sides agreed to hold the next round of talks on Thursday.

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