New Delhi: Amid the ongoing protests against the three new agriculture laws, the farmer unions on Wednesday (December 23, 2020) stated that they are ready for talks but the Centre should send a concrete proposal.
"Ready for talks, but the government should send a concrete proposal for that to happen," a farmer leader said during a press conference.
Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said, "Farmer unions are ready to talk to the government and are waiting for the government to come to the table with an open mind."
"We have already told Home Minister Amit Shah that protesting farmers will not accept amendments," another farmer leader added.
Meanwhile, the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that he is hopeful that farmers' unions will discuss the request of the government. He added that farmers should tell them what they want to add or remove from the proposal given by the government.
"I'm hopeful that farmers' unions will discuss our request. Whatever they want to add and subtract from govt's proposal, they should tell us. We're ready for a discussion at the time and date of their convenience. I'm hopeful of a solution," said Tomar.
He added, "I would also like to thank banks, as they brought more than 1 crore farmers under Kisan Credit Card cover during the pandemic and gave farmers Rs 1 lakh crores in last 8 months. We've undertaken some reforms and will bring more in future."
The farmers' protests have entered its 28th day and the last six round of talks between the Centre and their leaders couldn't break the deadlock. The sixth round of talks was held on December 9.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting at various Delhi's border points seeking a repeal of the new agriculture laws, which they claim were aimed at benefitting corporates by weakening the mandi system and the minimum support price (MSP) regime for procurement of farm produce.
On the other hand, the Centre has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and Mandi systems will stay and has accused the opposition of misleading the farmers.
Notably, India celebrated National Farmer Day or Kisan Diwas on December 23, a day which is celebrated in the memory of India's fifth Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.
(With inputs from agencies)