Centre invites farmers for 5th round of talks as their stir enters day 9

The farmers have not yet responded to his invite, said Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda.

Centre invites farmers for 5th round of talks as their stir enters day 9

A farmer sits on the blocked road at the Singhu border as farmer unions resume their Delhi Chalo protest march. (ANI Photo)

As the farmers’ protest entered its ninth day, Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda said on Wednesday that the Centre was ready to discuss all the issues including the demand for the minimum support price (MSP).

Inviting the protesting farmers for a fifth round of talks, the Union agriculture minister urged them to maintain peace and find a solution through ‘dialogue’.

Munda’s fresh invitation came amid a huge build-up of farmers at the borders of Haryana getting ready to march to the national capital.


In a post on X, Munda said, “After the fourth round, the government is ready to discuss all the issues like MSP demand, crop diversification, stubble issue, FIR in the fifth round.”

“I again invite the farmer leaders for discussion. It is important for us to maintain peace,” he added.

Talking to a news agency, Munda made an appeal to the farmers to maintain peace. “I appeal to them to maintain peace and we should find a solution through dialogue,” he said.

He, however, informed that the farmers have not yet responded to his invite. “No information has come yet (from farmers’ side). We appeal that we should move forward for talks and present our stand. The government also wants to move forward and find a solution,” the Union minister said.

Munda is part of a team of Union ministers holding talks with the farmer leaders, including Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai.The four rounds of talks held between the ministers and the farmers so far remained inconclusive.

The two sides met on February 8, 12, 15 and 18.

Earlier on Wednesday, general secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee Sarwan Singh Pandher reiterated their demand for a legal guarantee of MSP while assuring a peaceful approach to resolving the issues.

The farmer leader said only the leaders will be marching towards the national capital as the ‘Dilli Chalo’ programmed resumed on Wednesday after the fourth round of talks ended in a stalemate.

“We have decided that no farmer or youth will march forward. Leaders will march ahead. We will not attack our Jawans. We will go peacefully. All this can be ended if they (central govt) make a law on MSP,” Sarwan Singh Pandher said.

Addressing the protesting farmers, he made an appeal to them to move forward peacefully.

Earlier, on February 19, the farmer leaders rejected the Centre’s proposal of buying pulses, maize and cotton at the MSP by the government agencies for five years, saying it was not in farmers’ interest. The announcement was made by farmer leaders Sarwan Singh Pandher and Jagjit Singh Dallewal after a meeting.

“After a discussion, the both forums have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in the government’s proposal. Our government imports palm oil worth Rs 1.75 crore ignoring its implications on the health of the general public. If this money is given to the farmers of the country, they can grow oil seed crops. We reject the government’s proposal as it is not in the interest of the farmers,” he said.

“If the government is not giving legal guarantee to MSP, it simply means the farmers of the country will continue to be looted. This is not acceptable to us,” he added.

A panel of three Union ministers – Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai – gave the proposal to the farmers during the fourth round of talks in Chandigarh on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Munda told the media, “We want to do something good. Several opinions can be made; we always welcome good opinions… But to find out how that opinion could be fruitful, the only way is dialogue. Through dialogue, a solution will surely come out.”