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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Govt invites farm leaders for more talks, at a date of their choosing

The last round of talks between the government and farm unions was held on December 8 when Home Minister Amit Shah had held a meeting with the 13 representatives of farm unions.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi | Updated: December 21, 2020 1:57:37 pm
farmers protests, farm laws 2020, Punjab farmers protest, farmers unions, tikri border, singhu border, support farmers protests, farmers protest funding, indian expressArhtiyas in Punjab began their four-day strike against income tax raids, which they allege were conducted to intimidate them for supporting the farmers' stir against the Centre's agriculture laws.

With farm unions intensifying protests to press their demand for the repeal of the three farm laws, the government on Sunday invited farmer leaders for a new round of talks, and urged them to choose a date according to their convenience.

In a five-page letter to Krantikari Kisan Union Punjab state president Dr Darshan Pal, Vivek Aggarwal, joint secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare said: “You are requested to share the details in respect to your doubts after having discussion with farm union leaders invited earlier, and inform the date for punah vaarta (next round of talks) according to your convenience, so that the matter can be resolved by holding a meeting again at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi; so that the current agitation can be ended soon.”

The letter, addressed to Pal and copied to 39 other farmer leaders, gives the background of the talks held so far.

Aggarwal’s letter has come in response to Pal’s December 16 email, through which he had informed the government of the farm unions’ decision to reject the Centre’s proposal of concessions regarding changes in the farm laws.

The last round of talks between the government and farm unions was held on December 8 when Home Minister Amit Shah had held a meeting with the 13 representatives of farm unions. A day after this meeting, the Centre sent a written proposal of concessions to the protesting farm unions, which they rejected in an email to Aggarwal on December 16.

Since then, there has been speculation about the next round of talks.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that he was ready to send an invitation for the next round of talks to the farm unions.

“I am ready to send them an invitation once they revert on the changes proposed by the government,” Tomar had said.

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