Barring one, all farmers’ outfits in Punjab that are protesting against the Centre’s three farm laws have decided to attend the meeting with a two-member ministerial delegation in Delhi on Friday but have asserted that they won’t accept any decision short of scrapping of the three laws.
Union Agriculture secretary Sudhansu Pandey on November 10 invited the farmers’ outfits for a meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal. It was the third time the Centre extended to the protesting farmers an invitation for talks.
“We have unanimously decided that we will go and hold talks. We will demand that these three laws be repealed. We will tell them why these laws are wrong,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kadiyan) president Harmeet Singh Kadian said. The decision was taken by representatives of the farmers’ outfits at a meeting here. They also deputed three leaders — Krantikari Kisan Union president Dr Darshan Pal, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal and Jamhoori Kisna Sabha general secretary Kulwant Singh Sandhu — to hold talks with the Union ministers.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Kadian said, “Farmers have never shied away from dialogue. We are ready. But we have been agitating against the farm laws for the last 49 days. Hence, we will not accept anything less than withdrawal of these laws.”
Meanwhile, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee president Satnam Singh Pannu said they would not participate in any meeting with the Centre unless the rail traffic was restored in Punjab.
Kadian too said that the farmers had lifted their blockades from rail tracks and vacated platforms and questioned the Centre for not allowing freight train movement.
Asked about Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s appeal to allow passenger trains as well, Kadiyan asked who would fight the battle if the agitation was continuously relaxed. “We went one step back so that the government takes one step forward, but it did not do so,” he said.
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