Farmer unions to take call on Centre’s letter today

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As the ongoing farmers protest on the borders of National Capital Region of Delhi enter their 28th day, the farmer unions on Tuesday (December 22) decided that they will take a call on Central government’s letter on Wednesday (December 23).

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“32 farmer unions from Punjab held a meeting and discussed the next course of action. A meeting of farmer leaders from across India would be held on Wednesday where a decision on the government’s offer will be taken,” said farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu said during a media briefing at Delhi’s Singhu Border.

Sandhu added that they have decided to intensify the movement against new agricultural laws and said that the Haryana’s toll plazas will be made free from December 25 to December 27.

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He also said, “36 Britain MPs and 40 US Senators have written letters to Indian embassies there regarding these new laws.”

There farmers’ leader said that they would write to Britain MPs, requesting them to press their Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26.  Notably, Johnson has accepted the offer to be the chief guest at the event.

Earlier on Sunday, in a letter to 40 union leaders, the joint secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry, Vivek Aggarwal, had asked the protesting farmer leaders to specify their concerns over its earlier proposal of amendments in the laws. He also asked them to choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the ongoing agitation could end at the earliest.

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The farmers’ protests have entered its 27th day and the last six round of talks between the Centre and their leaders couldn’t break the deadlock. The sixth round of talks was held on December 9.

Meanwhile, the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that he’s hopeful that protesting farmer unions will soon decide and resume dialogue with the Centre to find a solution.

“I am hopeful they (protesting farmers’ unions) will soon complete their internal discussions and come forward for talks. We will be able to find a solution successfully,” Tomar said.

“Representatives of different farmers’ bodies had come to tell that the laws are good and are in the interest of farmers. They had come to urge the government not make any amendments to the laws,” the Agriculture minister added.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at various Delhi’s border points seeking a repeal of the new agriculture laws, which they claim were aimed at benefitting corporates by weakening the mandi system and the minimum support price (MSP) regime for procurement of farm produce.