Talks between Haryana, farm leaders break down

Govt. refuses compensation, jobs to kin of those killed during the protests

December 04, 2021 12:09 am | Updated 12:09 am IST - GURUGRAM

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal in Gurugram. File photo

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal in Gurugram. File photo

The talks between Haryana farm unions leaders and Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Friday remained inconclusive after the two sides failed to reach an agreement over the demands put forth by the farmer leaders’ delegation.

Also read: Farmers stir upsets political equations in Haryana

“We had put forth four demands, but a consensus could not be built and the talks failed,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) president Gurnam Singh Charuni, soon after the three-hour-long meeting at Chief Minister’s official residence in Chandigarh.

Besides Mr. Charuni, nine farmer leaders, including All-India Kisan Sabha, Haryana, vice-president Inderjit Singh, Rakesh Bains. Joginder Nain and Abhimanyu Kuhar, were also part of the meeting.

Mr. Charuni said the farm union leaders had placed four demands — seeking withdrawal of cases registered during the agitation, suitable compensation and government jobs for the families of the “martyr farmers” and allotment of land to build a memorial for them.

“It makes little sense to comment on what the government offered or not offered. The bottom line is that an agreement could not be reached on the demands. There was no discussion on holding any further meetings in this regard,” said Mr. Charuni.

He said the decision on continuation of the agitation would be taken at Samyukt Kisan Morcha meeting scheduled for Saturday.

Sources present in the meeting told The Hindu that the government agreed to withdraw the cases, but the talks broke down after a consensus could not be built on offering compensation and government jobs to the next of kin of those who died during the course of agitation. The government representatives said they could not, in principle, agree to compensate those who had passed away during the agitation.

The delegation, however, strongly put forth the argument that the Punjab government had already granted compensation and given jobs to the next of kin of farmers killed during the agitation and therefore, there should not be any statutory problem for the Haryana government to do so.

Also, the delegation claimed that around 90 farmers in Haryana were killed during the agitation, but the government representatives carried a list with only 46 names.

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