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Centre calls protesters for talks today, farmers seek involvement of all 500 organisations

·3 min read
Sukhvinder S Sabhran, Joint Secretary, Punjab Kisan Sangarsh Committee (photo/ANI)
Sukhvinder S Sabhran, Joint Secretary, Punjab Kisan Sangarsh Committee (photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], December 1 (ANI): The protesting farmers will not talk with the government till all 500 plus organisations, that are demonstrating against the three central farm laws, are called for talks, said Sukhvinder S Sabhran, Joint Secretary, Punjab Kisan Sangarsh Committee (PKSC) at the Singhu Border on Tuesday.

"There are more than 500 groups of farmers in the country, but the government has invited only 32 groups for talks today. The rest have not been called by the government. We will not be going for talks till all groups are called," said Sabhran.

The response comes a day after the union government proposed December 1 as the new date of talks with the leaders of protesting farmers on their concerns about the three new farm laws with the decision taken after high-level deliberations.

Sabhran alleged that the government is "trying to divide the farmers among themselves, but talks will only be initiated after every farmers' organisation, from across the country, participating the demonstration is given a representation during the meeting".

"They have removed the condition of moving to Burari and vacating the borders, but still the conscience of government does not seem clear. They are trying to divide us, by calling just 32 organisations for talks. We want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call a meeting with all the farmers' organisations to hear our grievances," he stated.

On November 29, farmers protesting at various places in Delhi and Haryana rejected the Central government's offer to hold talks saying that imposing conditions, including moving their protest to the government-designated protest site, for starting a dialogue is an insult to them.

On Monday, the sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been taking feedback from senior ministers including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

They had said that the Prime Minister had spoken to Rajnath Singh, who has handled agriculture portfolio earlier and is learnt to be in touch with farmer leaders to find a solution to the situation.

They had informed that there was also a meeting between Amit Shah and Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday.

Tomar had earlier said that talks will be held on December 3 but Shah had offered to hold talks earlier and had urged farmers to move to Nirankari Samagam ground in Burari area, the site marked for their protest.

Sources had said that for the past two days, the ministers have worked the phone lines and there have been backchannel talks to find a way forward.

They had said various leaders from states who gave had a good rapport with the leadership of agitating farmers were contacted.

Prime Minister Modi lauded the new agriculture reform laws in his 'Mann ki Baat' programme on Sunday and at an event in Varanasi yesterday.

He said that the farm laws were in the interest of farmers and will empower them by giving them options to increase their income.

Farmers are protesting in Delhi and its border areas against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)