With a group of farmers reaching Jantar Mantar here to challenge the three new farm laws, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday requested them to leave the path of agitation and come for discussions. Tomar said farmers across the nations have favoured the three farm laws.
After getting special approval from Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, a team of 200 farmers reached Jantar Mantar — adjacent to the Parliament Complex — in central Delhi to challenge the Centre’s three contentious farm laws amid the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament. They have got approval to protest till August 9 amid heavy security.
Inquiring about the farmers’ protest at Jantar Mantar, Tomar said, “I want to communicate through you (media) that farmers should leave the path of dissent and come for talks. We are prepared for talks if they come with issues in the bills.” “…If they come with their proposal, we are ready to dialogue,” he told reporters. Ensuring that the government is responsible towards farmers, the minister said in the last seven years under the administration of PM Narendra Modi, major steps have been implemented in the agriculture sector, the benefits of which are reaching cultivators across the nation.
“The three farm bills are also a measurement in this direction. Farmers across the nation approve of these bills,” he said. Tomar reiterated in a written reply from the People’s Chamber on Wednesday that the government will pursue dialogues with the protesting peasant unions to settle issues related to the three agricultural laws passed. In September last year, Parliament
“The government has been performing serious, sensitive and active talks with the farmer associations to settle the issue. In several rounds of talks, the government kept urging the farmer’ associations to discuss agricultural clauses. The law, so that if there is any exception to any clause , You can make headway in solving these issues,” the minister said.
But the farmers’ union only insisted on declining the farm law, he added. Thousands of peasants, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have camped on the Delhi boundary for more than seven months to challenge these three laws.
The government and unions have chaired 11 rounds of discussions, the last being on January 22, to breach the deadlock. Talks have not resumed following widespread brutality during a tractor rally by challenging farmers on January 26. The Apex Court has adjourned the implementation of the three laws till further orders and formed a committee to find solutions. The committee has already submitted its report.