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Union ministers to hold 4th round of talks with farmers today

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 18, 2024 10:43 IST
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A panel of Union ministers will hold a fourth round of talks with farmer leaders in Chandigarh on Sunday over their demands, including loan waiver and bringing an ordinance on giving legal guarantee to a minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

IMAGE: Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU) Ugraha supporters take part in a sit-in protest in front of Former Punjab CM and BJP leader Captain Amarinder Singh (retd) over their various demands, in Patiala on Saturday, February 17, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

The meeting comes amid thousands of farmers staying put at the Shambhu and Khanauri points of the Punjab-Haryana border with layers of barricades and a large number of security personnel halting their march to the national capital.

The two sides -- ministers and farmer leaders -- had met earlier on February 8, 12 and 15 but talks remained inconclusive.


Besides loan waiver and a legal guarantee for an MSP, farmers of the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation, which entered is sixth day on Sunday, are also demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, and withdrawal of police cases.

There was no report of any confrontation between the protesters and Haryana security personnel on Saturday. The farmer leaders have asked the protesters to maintain calm at the borders.

Multiple layers of barricades and concrete blocks have been put up and security personnel deployed at Delhi's borders with Haryana also in view of the protest.

Farmer leaders, including from the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha that had called for the march, will be meeting Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Arjun Munda, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai at 6 pm on Sunday in Chandigarh -- the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.

On Saturday, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher had said the entire country is looking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for addressing the farmers' demands and expressed hope that the farmers will get "good news" after the Sunday's meeting with the Centre.

"Now the ball is in the government's court," he had said and added that the Centre has a right to take 'political' decisions.

"If the government wants resolution of the farmers' protest, then it should bring an ordinance with an immediate effect that it will enact a law on MSP, then discussion can proceed further. It (Centre) can bring the ordinance overnight, if it wants to," Pandher had added.

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal, who is spearheading the 'Delhi Chalo' march along with Pandher, had also said that the government should bring an ordinance for "giving something to people of the country'.

The Haryana government on Saturday had extended the ban on mobile internet and bulk SMS services in seven districts by two more days till February 19.

On Saturday, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) took out a tractor march in Haryana while BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) held dharnas outside residences of three senior BJP leaders in support of the farmers protesting at the borders of Punjab and Haryana.

Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar on Saturday had said that the Modi government was fully cognisant of farmers' issues, adding that the ongoing talks between the farmers and the Centre will definitely lead to an effective redressal.

Haryana Director General of Police Shatrujeet Kapur on Saturday had visited the Data Singhwala-Khanauri border point where farmers have been camping since their 'Delhi Chalo' march was stopped by security personnel.

He had said that strict action would be taken against those who disturb law and order.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.