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Agitating farmers hand over letter to Centre, demand special Parliament session to repeal new farm laws

Upping the ante against the Centre, the farmers’ representatives had threatened to intensify their protests from Saturday if their demands are not met. 

  • Agitating farmers have handed over a letter to Centre
  • They have demanded a special Parliament session to repeal new farm laws
  • They have also threatened to intensify their protest if their demands are not met

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Agitating farmers hand over letter to Centre, demand special Parliament session to repeal new farm laws

New Delhi: As the protests against the new agriculture policies of the government, entered its eighth day on Thursday, the farmer leaders have handed over a letter to the Centre demanding a special Parliament session to repeal new farm laws. They have expressed apprehension that the new farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporates.

Upping the ante against the Centre, the farmers’ representatives had threatened to intensify their protests from Saturday if their demands are not met. The farmer leaders, who had met Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal on Tuesday, are gearing up for another round of negotiations with the Centre, which has offered to “address concerns” through discussions.

However, the demand for a special Parliament session has deepened the deadlock, further shrinking the middle ground between the two sides. The farmers on Thursday continued their demonstrations on Sant Nirankari Samagam ground in Burari on the outskirts of Delhi and other border areas. A delegation of farmers will meet Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday, said Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union.

"A delegation of farmers will meet the Agriculture Minister on Thursday. If the government wants, it can resolve the issues. All farmer organisations across the country should take to the streets now," said Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union.

Meanwhile, a group of farmers from Rajasthan joined the protest at Singhu (Delhi-Haryana) border on Thursday. Around 500 more farmers from Rajasthan are reaching Delhi soon.

Tap for live updates on farmers' protest against farm laws

"The Prime Minister said many times that minimum support price will be protected, so what`s the problem in putting it in writing? Farmers will go back once their demands are met," said a protesting farmer at the Singhu border.

The government had held the third round of talks with farmer representatives on Tuesday. During the talks, the Centre offered to set up a committee, which the farmers` unions rejected, and instead demanded a special session of parliament to repeal what they have called "black laws" made to favour corporate bodies.

Farmers said they`ll continue their protest till their issues are resolved. Tomar said the meeting on Tuesday was "good" and farmer unions were urged to share specific issues related to farm Acts which will be discussed during the fourth round of meeting on December 3 and added that "it remains to be seen to what extent issues can be resolved".

However, the Union Agriculture Minister had maintained that the farm laws are in the interest of farmers and the reforms have been done after a long wait and the government is ready to address their concerns.

Notably, farmers have warned that Thursday`s talks are the "last chance" for the government to take a decision on the laws.

"Thursday is the last chance for the government to take a decision to repeal the laws. Otherwise, this movement will become huge and the government will fall," Pratibha Shinde of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha said. Apart from Tomar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash were also present in the meeting held with farmer leaders on Tuesday.

Several farmers from different parts of the country like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are also marching towards Delhi to join the protest against new farm laws.

The farmers are protesting 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.

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