As farmer unions continue with their protest to demand repeal of the three agriculture laws, the Central government on Sunday invited farmer leaders for a fresh round of talks amid attempts to end the agitation.
Vivek Aggarwal, joint secretary, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare wrote a letter to Krantikari Kisan Union Punjab state president Dr Darshan Pal asking him to share his doubts over the new laws after having a discussion with farm union leaders invited earlier and requested him to choose a date according to their convenience.
“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 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,” read the letter dated December 20.
The five-page letter, which was also copied to 39 other farmer-leaders has come in response to Pal’s email dated December 16 email, through which he had raised issues of farm unions.
The government has held several rounds of talks with the farmers so far. On December 8, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had held a meeting with the 13 representatives of farm unions. However, a day later, farmer leaders rejected a proposal sent by the Centre.
Hundreds of farmers are protesting at the borders of Delhi since November 26 against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
On Sunday, farmer unions announced a 24-hour relay hunger strike starting today and appealed to citizens to skip a meal on December 23 on the occasion of ‘Kisan Diwas’. They further said that they had also decided to make the Haryana toll plaza free from December 25 to December 27.