Farmers’ talks with govt inconclusive, next round on December 5

Farmers have made it clear that the protests will stop only when the acts are withdrawn.

Credit : India Today

An eight-hour-long meeting of farmers with the Central Government, on Thursday, has once again proved inconclusive, as both parties are set to meet again on December 5. Farmers have said that the government has taken one step ahead and has agreed to study the acts to make some changes. However, the farmers have made it clear that the protests will stop only when the acts are withdrawn.

On Friday, December 4, the farmers' organisations across the country will be conducting a meeting to finalise their strategy before Saturday’s meeting with the Government. Talking to the media after the meeting, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar expressed hopes that the situation would be resolved in the next round of meeting.

Earlier today, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan award today, in protest of the farm reform acts. He also condemned the Government for betrayal and using teargas and water cannons on the peacefully protesting farmers.



In solidarity with the thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other parts of the country, the farmers and workers in Maharashtra also intensified protests and conducted marches in different parts of the state. “Delhi borders have been sieged, the whole country is standing against the reforms. The Central Government, however, is playing politics here as well. They are trying to divide the farmers. In Maharashtra, farmers and workers have come together to protest and oppose the government,” said Ajit Navale, Maharashtra General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha while speaking to the media today, emphasising that the Acts are against the farmers, not in their favour as the Central Government is saying, and it will lead to corporatisation that will destroy the farmers.

Renowned authors, poets in Marathi literature like Vasant Dahake, Bhaskar Chandanshiv, Atul Deulgaokar, Pravin Bandekar, etc. have also expressed solidarity with the farmers, and have appealed to the public to support the farmers.

The three laws passed in September do not ensure the Minimum Support Price (MSP) that guarantees the farmers certain prices for their crops, and threaten corporatisation of the agricultural sector. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi thinks that the bills will liberate the farmers from the middlemen, the farmers fear that they will face a loss, and the main beneficiaries will be the big agricultural corporations.

Protests against the laws have been ongoing for over a month, amidst which the Central Government had also stopped railways going to Punjab. A week ago, demonstrations began when thousands of farmers from northern states of Punjab and Haryana set out towards New Delhi to protest against these bills. The government tried to suppress the protests with force, as they employed water cannons and teargas shells, erected barricades and barbed wire fences, dug trenches on highways and arrested hundreds of activists. Braving it all,  tens of thousands of farmers have amassed on the Delhi border and have laid siege to the capital.