‘I don’t want any more discussion’: Farmer leaders ask the Center for their decision on farm laws
As the standoff over controversial farm laws entered the ninth day on Saturday, farmers’ leaders and the government are holding a fifth round of talks in Vigyan Bhavan, Delhi. During the meeting, the farmers insisted on a commitment by the government and stated that “they do not want any more discussion and they want to know what they have decided,” the ANI news agency reported.
Thousands of farmers from Haryana and Punjab are protesting in and around Delhi against the three agricultural laws passed by Parliament in September. Although the central government has ensured that the laws are in favor of the agricultural sector, farmers have expressed their concern regarding the Minimum Subsistence Price (MSP). They also fear that after these laws they will be left at the mercy of large corporations.
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Before the talks on Saturday, four rounds of negotiations took place between the Union ministers and the farmers’ representatives. Between them, two rounds of talks were held amid ongoing protests. So far, the talks have been inconclusive.
However, the Center agreed to review recently enacted legislation and table amendments if necessary to address farmers’ demands after Thursday’s discussion. Farmers, however, said they did not want amendments to the new laws but wanted them to be completely reversed.
Farmers protest against the Agricultural Products Trade and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, the Farmers’ Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) on Price Guarantee and the Agricultural Services Act of 2020 and the Essential Products Act (Amendment ) of 2020.
Meanwhile, agitated farmers called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’, a nationwide strike, on December 8, where they said they will block all toll plazas and roads leading to Delhi.
The Bharat Bandh call was supported by several other farmers’ organizations. Hannan Mollah, Secretary General of All India Kisan Sabha, said: “We have to move this protest forward.”