|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

Ready to protest until May 2024, say farmers; give up stubborn position, says government | India News


NEW DELHI: Prior to the 10th round of talks scheduled for January 19, both the Center and the farmers stood firm on their position on the three new farm laws.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar again urged protesting agricultural leaders on Sunday to renounce their “stubborn” position on the new agricultural laws and propose clause-by-clause discussion.
However, farmers are stuck in their demand to repeal the new laws and said they are prepared to protest “until May 2024.” The next Lok Sabha elections in the country will be held between April and May 2024.
Addressing journalists in Madhya Pradesh, Tomar said today that farmers should stop being stubborn as the Supreme Court has stopped the implementation of the three laws.
“The government wants the peasant leaders to come and discuss clause by clause at the next meeting on January 19. Except for the demand to repeal the laws, the government is willing to seriously and with an open heart consider other alternatives,” he said.
Tomar, who departed for his constituency on Hazur Sahib Nanded-Amritsar Superfast Express, was seen sharing langar from passengers from the Sikh community, a gesture that comes amid ongoing protests by Punjab farmers against the laws.
Tomar said the government offered certain concessions, but peasant leaders have not shown flexibility and constantly demanded the repeal of the laws.
He reiterated that the government makes laws for the entire country, adding that many farmers, experts and other stakeholders have supported the laws.
‘Ideological revolution’
Meanwhile. The leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rakesh Tikait, said farmers are prepared to protest against the new agricultural laws “until May 2024.” He called the ongoing turmoil on the borders of Delhi an “ideological revolution.”
At a press conference in Nagpur, Tikait said that they want a legal guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
When asked how long farmers plan to sit in protest, Tikait said: “We are prepared to sit in protest until May 2024 … our demand is that the three laws be withdrawn and that the government provide a legal guarantee to the MSP.” . ”
Dismissing allegations that the protest was being driven by “wealthy farmers,” Tikait said that people from the villages and various groups have joined the protest.
“This is an ideological farmers’ revolution that started in Delhi and it will not fail. Village farmers do not want us to return until all three agricultural laws are lifted,” he said.
“The government is adamant in its stance not to withdraw the bills and this turmoil will continue for a long time,” Tikait added.
‘I don’t want to appear before the SC panel’
On January 11, the Supreme Court had suspended the implementation of the three laws until further orders and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the deadlock.
Tikait welcomed the SC’s decision, but said that the committee made up of the high court has members who “supported” the agricultural bills.
“We do not want to go before the commission formed by the court. The government has also said that the government and the farmers will find a solution to this issue,” he said.
Tikait also said that the opposition parties in the country were weak and that is why farmers had to initiate this agitation against the new laws of the Center.
In the notices from the National Investigative Agency (NIA) to some people who support the farmers’ protest, he said: “Those who want to be part of the agitation should be prepared for court cases, imprisonment and property sealing. “.
Farmers have been protesting near Delhi since November 26, 2020, demanding that the three new agricultural laws be removed. The Center has argued that the laws are major reforms in the agricultural sector that will eliminate middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, protesting farmers have expressed fear that the new laws would pave the way to remove the MSP’s safety cushion and end the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of large corporations.
So far, the nine rounds of formal talks between the Center and 41 farmers’ unions have yielded no concrete results to end the protracted protest at the Delhi borders, as the latter have adhered to their main demand to repeal for I complete the three laws. .
(With PTI inputs)

Original source