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Peasant leaders: nothing new in the government’s letter; ready for talks, but needs a ‘concrete solution’ | India News

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NEW DELHI: Peasant leaders said Monday that they are always ready for dialogue as long as the government offers a “concrete solution”, but stated that there is nothing new in the Center’s latest letter to them looking for a date for the next round of conversations. .
The leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rakesh Tikait, said that the government, in its letter, mentioned that it wants to hold talks on its previous proposal for amendments to the new agricultural laws.
“On this issue (government proposal), we did not speak to them before. We are currently discussing how to respond to the government’s letter,” Tikait told PTI.
The sixth round of talks on December 9 was canceled.
In the letter to 40 union leaders, Agriculture Ministry Co-Secretary Vivek Aggarwal asked them on Sunday to specify their concerns about their previous proposal for amendments to the laws and to choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the agitation in progress could finish at the earliest.
“There is nothing new in your letter. We have already rejected the government’s proposal to modify the new agricultural laws. In its letter, the government has asked us to analyze its proposal and give it a date for another round of talks.”
“They don’t know about our demand? We just want a complete repeal of the new farm laws,” said another farmer leader, Abhimanyu Kohar.
In the letter, the Union’s deputy agriculture secretary said the Center is making every effort with “an open heart” to find a suitable solution to resolve all concerns raised by farmers.
The official said that in its draft proposal sent on Dec. 9, the government had proposed making necessary amendments on at least seven issues, including providing a “written guarantee” to farmers that the existing price system would continue. minimum support (MSP).
Thousands of farmers have been camping at various Delhi border points against the new agricultural laws for the past 24 days.
“It doesn’t make sense that the government is asking us out on a date. We are basically sitting here all day waiting for the government to listen to us. They are the ones with busy schedules.
“They should give us a date, or they can just come to our tents here, see how we are living and talk to us,” said farmer leader Kashmir Singh, who is deputy secretary of All India Kisan Samiti (Punjab). .
Amarjeet Singh Rarra, Secretary General of the Dwaba Kisan Committee, said that farmers are always ready to meet with the government, but they have to come to them with a concrete solution.
“We have studied their proposals clause by clause, and we have told them repeatedly that we want the laws to be repealed,” Rarra said.
Farmer leaders are expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss the next action plan, said Gurmeet Singh of Krantikari Kisan Union.
“We have already sent them our proposals and we pointed out the problems we had with the government’s proposal. They need to respond to what we already told them.
“Tomorrow, there will be a meeting of Sanyukt Morcha to decide how and when to respond to the government. We will evaluate the government’s letter and then decide,” Gurmeet Singh said.
When asked why the talks with the government were unsuccessful, he claimed that the three laws were “anti-peasant” and that the government “favored corporations” over peasants and the common man.
“We will meet tomorrow, we will deliberate and then we will see what needs to be done, but our demand remains the same: we want the laws to be repealed or we will not move,” said Ram Singh, Haryana State President of Ambedkar Sangharsh Morcha.
Enacted in September, the three agricultural laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agricultural sector that will eliminate middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way to remove the Minimum Livelihood Price safety cushion and end the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of large corporations.
The government has repeatedly claimed that the MSP and Mandi systems will be maintained and has accused the opposition of misleading farmers.

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