The Centre is all set to hold a seventh round of talks with farmers on Monday and eliminate the deadlock. The talks will be held on two key issues — the complete withdrawal of the three contentious agricultural legislation and giving legal status to the minimum support price guarantee. The farmers from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and across the country have been protesting at the Delhi borders against the Centre’s new farm laws since November 26, 2020. Despite bitter cold and rains, the farmers are not ready to step back and have warned that they will hold a tractor rally on Republic day if their demands of scrapping of the legislations and MSP guarantee are not met.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader, Rakesh Tikait said so far, 60 farmers have lost their lives during the protest. One farmer is dying every 16 hours. It is the responsibility of the government to answer.
In the previous round of meeting, the central government said that farmers have reached a consensus on two of the four demands, withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill and the penal provisions for stubble burning in the Air Quality Commission Ordinance.
But the farmers have laid the seize to Delhi over the farm laws passed in September even as the government scrambles to find an amicable solution. The farmers’ representatives who attended the last round of talks on December 30, said the government has indicated that it would not repeal the laws, citing the long process required.
The government has projected the laws as a major reform in the agriculture sector that will remove the APMC mandi system and middlemen, and will allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country. However, the protesting farmers have argued that the new laws will leave them at the mercy of big corporates. They argue that they would settle for nothing less than total scrapping of the farm laws.