Dilli Chalo | Repeal of agriculture laws tops farmers agenda for fresh talks on December 29

Protesters block the Delhi-Meerut expressway at Ghazipur, in New Delhi on December 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

As the farmers’ agitation for the repeal of the three farm laws completed a month, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a joint front of farmer unions, on Saturday accepted the Union government’s offer for talks, putting forth a four-point agenda that includes modalities to be adopted for the revocation of the three farm laws and mechanism for legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP). The Front has proposed to hold the talks on December 29.


Announcing the decision of the farmer unions, Swaraj India national president Yogendra Yadav, at a press conference, said the Front’s leaders were ready for talks with the Union government on December 29 at 11 a.m. and had put forth a four-point agenda. Besides the farm laws and MSP, the agenda includes the amendments to be made and notified in the “Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020” to exclude farmers from the penal provisions of the Ordinance and changes to be made in the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 to protect the interests of farmers.

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“We want these four items in the agenda and in the same sequence. It means the first item to be discussed will be the modalities to repeal the three laws,” said Mr. Yadav.

He added that farmer’ organisations were and had always been open to a sincere dialogue.

The farmer unions’ proposal came in reply to a letter from the Union government on December 24 inviting them for talks and reiterating its commitment for logical solution to all the issues raised by the agitating farmer groups.

In a letter addressed to Agriculture Ministry Joint Secretary Vivek Aggarwal, the farmer unions, however, said the government continued to mislead the public by suppressing the true facts about the deliberations in the previous meetings.

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“We have consistently demanded the repeal of the three central farm laws, whereas the government has distorted our position as if we were asking for amendments to these Acts. If you are sincere about respectfully listening to the farmers, as you say in your letter, the government must not indulge in misinformation about the previous meetings. The campaign launched by the entire state machinery to defame and malign the farmers’ movement must stop forthwith,” read the letter.

Krantikari Kisan Union, president Darshan Pal said the farmers would take out tractor rally on Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway on December 30 and all tolls in Haryana and Punjab would remain permanently open. He also gave a call to residents of Delhi to celebrate new year with the protesting farmers at the border points on January 1.

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All-India Kisan Sabha finance secretary and former CPI (M) MLA P. Krishna Prasad said the farmers’ agitation had exposed the “pro-corporate” face of the Modi government. He added that the BJP governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, despite their best efforts, had failed to stop the pouring in of farmers to Delhi from across the country.

Meanwhile, the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee claimed that more than 20,000 farmers, from different backgrounds, had assembled at Ghazipur from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand after having defied the U.P. police’s barricades.

“More are arriving and soon the other borders shall be flooded with the farmers,” said a press statement issued by the AIKSCC.

On the completion of one month of the Delhi sit-in, more than 7,000 protest programmes observed “Dhikkar Diwas” (Day of Shame) at various places to damn the government’s obstinate attitude towards the demand for repeal of the Acts, said the statement.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:34:36 AM |

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