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Will continue to sit here if govt doesn’t accept demands, asserts BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

“We will participate in the meeting and seek to discuss the proposals we have made. If this goes well, we will then move to other issues,” said Rakesh Tikait.

SNS | New Delhi |

Bharatiya Kisan Union’s national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, on Monday, said that they will stick to their key demand for the repeal of the three farm laws.

“We will participate in the meeting and seek to discuss the proposals we have made. If this goes well, we will then move to other issues,” said Rakesh Tikait while talking to IANS.

The government on Monday had invited the protesting farmers to a fresh round of talks on Wednesday at 2 pm at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi.

“If they (the government) do not agree, we will hold further talks. The government will have to listen to us and take back the laws. If the government does not listen to us, we will continue sitting here,” he asserted.

The government, in its letter of invitation for the talks, said they will discuss the three farm laws and the minimum support price (MSP) issue as well as The Commission for Air Quality management in NCR and adjoining areas ordinance, 2020 and The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The farmers, who had offered to hold talks with the government on Tuesday, had sent a four-point charter of demands.

The first one was for the withdrawal of the three laws, the second one was for a legal basis for selling agricultural produce at MSP as fixed by the National Farmers Commission. The third was for keeping farmers out of the ambit of penal provisions under the clean air ordinance, and the fourth was for necessary changes in the Electricity (Amendment) Bill to protect farmers’ interests.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said the new farm laws have received widespread acceptance across the country and expressed hope of a resolution to the farmers’ protest.

“Some people have tried to mislead farmer unions about the three new farm laws,” Tomar said at a meeting of Confederation of NGOs of Rural India or CNRI.

In a separate development, the agitating farmers have set up a new stage and temporary sitting arrangements on the Delhi side of Singhu (Delhi-Haryana border).

“We have made new arrangements as the number of protesters is increasing here,” said says a farmer at the site, reported news agency ANI.

Thousands of farmers who have braved police barricades, water cannons and tear gas are agitating against the new farm laws and are stationed at various Delhi borders. The farmers want the new farm laws to be repealed.

The farmers feel that the new farm laws will weaken the minimum support price (MSP) and leave them vulnerable to the corporations. The government has tried to reassure the farmers about the MSP.

A lawyer from Punjab who was also the part of the ongoing farmers’ protests at Delhi borders allegedly died by suicide on Sunday, a few kilometres away from the protest site.

Earlier, a 65-year-old Sikh priest, Sant Ram Singh had also allegedly died by suicide near the Singhu border protest site claiming that he was ‘unable to bear the pain of the farmers.’

A 22-year-old farmer also died by suicide in Bathinda, Punjab after he returned from the protest near Delhi border.

(With IANS inputs)