As thousands of farmers continue to protest on various borders of the national capital seeking repeal of three new farm laws, a delegation of 20 from Haryana met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to extend their support for the new legislations. Calling it a delegation of ‘progressive farmers’, a member of the team said the group led by Padmashree awardee Kamal Singh Chavan met Tomar in support of the farm laws enacted in September and demanded the government may amend some provisions but it should not repeal them. The delegation members said they were individual farmers and representatives of farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
The delegation included Bharatiya Kisan Union (Attar) National President Attar Singh Sandhu. The meeting took place a day before a “Bharat Bandh” to be observed by protesting farmers’ organisations on Tuesday, while a meeting is already scheduled for the day after on December 9 between a representative group of agitating farmers and the government for their sixth round of talks. No breakthrough has been possible in the five rounds so far, as the protesting farmers have stuck to their demand for the repeal of the laws despite the government’s assurance to look into specific issues without abolishing the legislations. The three farm laws have been presented by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and scrap the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. The Centre has maintained the MSP and mandi systems would continue and would be rather further improved and strengthened.