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Centre invites three more farmer leaders to join Punjab delegation for talks

Farmers protest against farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Centre has extended an invitation to three more farmer leaders for the talks scheduled for 3 p.m., after the Punjab unions refused to attend unless some of the all-India leadership of the protest were also invited, according to farmer leaders at the Singhu border.

The delegation of 32 Punjab unions is now likely to be joined by Gurnam Singh Chadhuni of the Bharatiya Kisan Union in Haryana, Shivkumar Kakkaji Sharma of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, and Hannan Mollah of the All India Kisan Sabha delegation, several farmer leaders told The Hindu. “The formal invite has now come from the government,” said one leader.

The farmer leaders had been told they would be meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, they said.

Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are massed along the Delhi border, demanding the repeal of three farm reform laws. The Centre’s initial attempt to engage them in dialogue floundered as the farmer groups refused the pre-condition of shifting the protest to the Burari grounds in north-eastern Delhi.

Late on Monday night, Mr. Tomar had issued an invitation to meet at Vigyan Bhavan at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, saying that that those organisations which had been invited to the earlier talks on November 13 would be invited this time also. Only the Punjab unions had been invited last month.

At a meeting at the Singhu border point this morning, Punjab farmer unions decided to demand that the all-India leadership of the protest also be included.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 1:25:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-invites-three-more-farmer-leaders-to-join-punjab-delegation-for-talks/article33220540.ece

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