India Farmers Protest: Govt Not Ready to Withdraw Farm Laws

Delhi farmers protest
Photo: Collected

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah and a group of farmers’ representatives failed to find a solution in a meeting with the central leaders on Tuesday night, demanding the repeal of three new laws and rejecting the government’s amendment proposal. After the meeting, The General Secretary of the Akhil Indian Farmers’ Conference, Hannan Mollah, said the government was not prepared to take back the farm laws, Indian media report.

Confirming that there will be no farmers-government meeting Wednesday, Hannan said, Home Minister Amit Shah has said that a proposal will be made to the farmers’ leaders today. Farmers’ leaders will hold a meeting on the government’s proposal. On Tuesday, the minister met 13 farmers who protested against the government’s controversial farm bills.

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Three Union ministers who are leading the government’s talks with the farmers – Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Food Minister Piyush Goel, and Trade and Industry Minister Som Parkash were also present at the meeting.

Sources said that among the participating farmers were Hanan Mollah of the All India Farmers’ Conference and Rakesh Tikat of the Indian Farmers Union (BCU).

Some farmers’ leaders said they had initially expected the meeting to take place at Shah’s residence, but the place was shifted to the National Agricultural Science Complex.

The meeting, which lasted till evening, comes on a day of celebration stake by farmers, affecting their lives in some states.

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However, the meeting has created a debate among the organizations leading the protests at Delhi’s Ghazipur border for the past 12 days. 

In a social media post, Yoginder Singh Ugran, who was not invited to the meeting with Shah, said that there is no need for discussion before the official talks and he hoped that the leaders present at Wednesday’s meeting will take into their best in the larger party’s view.

Farmers’ leaders are adamant about the repeal of three new farm laws introduced in September that will benefit corporates and stop the Mandi system and minimum support Price (MSP).

“We will demand a yes or no from Home Minister Amit Shah,” farmer leader Rudra Singh Monsa told reporters at the Singu border earlier in the day.

The government maintains that it is committed to the welfare of farmers and has presented these laws as major reforms for their benefit.

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