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As West UP Farmers Increase the Buzz, Unions Again Insist on Repealing Laws India News


NEW DELHI: With West UP protesters giving fresh air to the farmers’ unrest, unions reiterated Sunday that they were ready to resume talks, but would continue to insist on repeal of all three laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP).
The unions said they had not yet received any communication from the Center for the talks, which, however, could only take place in a pleasant atmosphere. They claimed that more than 100 farmers were still reported to be “missing” after the tractor rally and police action that followed the violence on Republic Day.
The coordinating body of the unions, Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), has formed a committee to investigate the issue of “missing persons”. “He is collecting information on missing persons, after which a formal action can be initiated with the authorities,” said farm leader Darshan Pal.
On the prospect of the talks, Yogendra Yadav of Jai Kisan Andolan, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment that the proposal made to the farmers (keeping the laws suspended for up to 18 months) was still on offer, said: “If the government takes two steps forward (from what it had offered on January 22), farmers will not back down. We have no ego. We are ready for conversations. We want farmers to get what they want and want the repeal of the three agricultural laws and the legal guarantee of the MSP ”. This might suggest some leeway, but it is up to the unions, mainly from Punjab, to make a decision.

Earlier in the day, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait suggested that the talks could take place on February 2, but later told ANI that while he was grateful to the prime minister for his initiative, those arrested should be released first.
Appealing to farmers to strengthen the movement, Yadav, in his message from the Shahjahanpur border, said: “Pura khel ab palat gaya hai. Ab palda kisan ka bhari hai. (The situation has completely changed and farmers are now at the forefront.) ”
Modi told an all-party meeting on Saturday that the government’s proposals to the unions still stand and that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was just a phone call away to move the talks forward. He referred to the proposals of the Ministry of Agriculture to suspend the implementation of the agricultural laws for 18 months and to establish a joint committee to discuss the demands of the farmers during the period.
The ministry had made this proposal during the 10th round of talks on January 20 and upheld it in the next round of talks on January 22, while asking the unions to come for a dialogue after accepting this offer. The unions, however, rejected the offer, leading to the current stalemate.

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