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Farmer unions arrive for talks, claim no conditions from centre

The farmers unions have emphasised that the demand to repeal the new farm laws was ‘non-negotiable.’

SNS | New Delhi |

The protesting farmers who have been camping outside Delhi for the past six days now will attend the talks which will lead by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The Defence Minister has met Home Minister Amit Shah, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP chief JP Nadda on Tuesday morning. This is the second meeting between BJP top leaders amidst the massive farmers’ protests.

In these thirty-six unions, 32 unions are from Punjab, two from Haryana, Yogendra Yadav from AIKSCC and another leader from Uttar Pradesh. The farmers unions have emphasised that the demand to repeal the new farm laws was ‘non-negotiable.’

The meeting which is three days ahead of the scheduled meet, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has citied coronavirus and cold for the talks being preponed. He said, “On November 13, we had decided we will meet on December 3, but farmers are in a mood to protest. We request you to leave the protest and find a solution through talks.”

“It is cold and there is coronavirus. Hence we invite the kisan union heads to Vigyan Bhawan on December 1 at 3 pm. We request you to leave the protest and find a solution through discussion,” he added.

Jagjit Singh Dallewal of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said, “The government has invited us without preconditions and we’re going for the talks. About 35 representatives will go, and we will demand the laws be repealed. We will also demand law on MSP. If the government doesn’t agree, the protests will continue.”

The farmers on Sunday had rejected the Centre’s offer to talk after the government had emphasised on the protesting farmers to move to the designated protest site, the Burari grounds in New Delhi.They feared that Burari grounds could become a dentition centre and have been protesting at the borders of Delhi.

Prime Minister on Monday while addressing an event in his constituency Varanasi spoke on the farm laws and said they are giving better access to markets — both national and international.

“But if someone thinks that the earlier system is better, how is this law stopping anyone,” he added.

“The reforms have given farmers new options and safeguards,” PM Modi had said.

The PM on Sunday in his monthly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’ had said that centre’s new laws have “opened more opportunities” for the farmers, and have fulfilled their long-pending demands.

The protesting farmers on Sunday had said that they will block five entry points to Delhi, Sonipat, Rohtak, Jaipur, Ghaziabad-Hapur, and Mathura.

Thousands of farmers have braved water cannons, tear gas, police barricades and have continued their protests against the farm laws.