Seventh round of talks between farmers, government on Monday; Both parties expect a positive outcome
The protesting farmers and the government will hold the next round of talks on Monday to try to find a solution to end the uproar that has been going on for more than a month. This will be the seventh round of talks between the two parties.
So far, six rounds of talks have failed to end the stalemate, with farmers sticking to their demand for repeal of the three farm laws passed by Parliament in September. While consensus was reached in the latest round of talks on issues related to the environment and the Electricity Law, the stagnation continued on the two main demands, the legal guarantee on the Minimum Subsistence Price (MSP) and the complete reversal. of the three agricultural laws.
Farmers launched their protest at three border points in Delhi, Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, on November 26, and have since braved water cannons, cold spells and now rain. The continuing downpour led to flooding at the sites of unrest on Sunday and the waterproof tents did not help much, according to protesters.
“The situation is very bad at the protest sites due to the rain that has caused flooding. It is very cold after the rains, but the government cannot see our misery, ”said peasant leader Abhimanyu Kohar, a member of Sankyukt Kisan Morcha.
Gurwinder Singh, who is camping on the Singhu border, said the weather will not dampen the spirits of farmers who have been protesting for more than a month.
“Despite facing various problems, we will not move from here until our demands are met,” he said.
Chilla and Ghazipur, two major border points near Delhi, remained closed due to protests on Sunday. “Traffic Alert The Chilla and Ghazipur borders are closed for traffic coming from Noida and Ghaziabad to Delhi due to protests from farmers. Please take an alternative route to get to Delhi via Anand Vihar, DND, Apsara, Bhopra and Loni Borders, ”wrote the Delhi Traffic Police on Twitter.
“We live on the streets in such harsh weather conditions far from our family. We are hopeful that the government will accept our demands tomorrow, ”a farmer protesting on the Ghazipur border told the ANI news agency.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha held a press conference on Saturday where its leaders threatened to march to Delhi on January 26 with their tractors, cars and other vehicles if their demands are not met.
Opposition parties, including Congress, support farmer agitation. Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday urged the Narendra Modi government to follow “raj dharma” by repealing agricultural laws.
“There is still time for the Modi government to renounce its arrogance of power and immediately unconditionally withdraw the three black laws and put an end to the agitation of farmers dying in the cold and rain. This can be raj dharma and a true tribute to the farmers who passed away, ”Sonia Gandhi said in a statement.
Congressional leader Rahul Gandhi compared the ongoing farmers’ agitation to the Champaran agitation during the British government, saying that all farmers and workers who are part of the current movement are a ‘satyagrahi’ and will regain their rights. .
Meanwhile, the Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary expressed the hope that a solution will be found in tomorrow’s discussions and that the agitation of farmers can end. “We are talking to farmers who are protesting. We hope that tomorrow’s talks will have a positive outcome. We hope that their problems will be resolved in tomorrow’s discussions and that the protest will also end tomorrow, ”Chaudhary told the ANI.
The government has presented these laws as major agricultural sector reforms aimed at helping farmers and increasing their incomes, but protesting unions fear that the new laws will leave them at the mercy of large corporations by weakening the MSP and mandi systems.
The three contentious agricultural laws are: the Agricultural Products Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) on Price Guarantee and Agricultural Services, 2020, and the Essential Products Act ( Amendment), 2020.