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Farm laws: 30 Punjab farmer groups decide to hold talks with Centre on Wed

Thirty protesting Punjab farmers' bodies on Tuesday decided to hold talks with the Centre over the new farm laws in New Delhi on Wednesday

Punjab | farmer protests

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

farmers, protest, farm bills
Farmers protest at a private wheat silo in the Sangrur district of Punjab | Photo: Sai Manish

Thirty protesting farmers' bodies on Tuesday decided to hold talks with the Centre over the new farm laws in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The decision to this effect was taken by representatives of 29 farmers' organisations at a meeting here.

The BKU (Ugrahan), which did not attend meeting, has also decided to participate in the meeting called by the Centre in New Delhi.

Our three members will participate in the meeting in Delhi, said BKU (Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Khokrikalan.

A seven-member panel has also been formed to hold talks with the Centre, said BKU (Rajewal) chief Balbir Singh Rajewal while addressing the media here.

The leaders included in the panel are Balbir Singh Rajewal, Darshan Pal, Jagjit singh Dalewal, Jagmohan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Surjit Singh and Satnam Singh Sahni.

Rajewal said as per the invitation sent by the secretary of the Union Agriculture Department, the Centre wants to hold talks with them.

We are going because if we continue to reject the invitation, then they will say we are not ready for any talks. We do not want to give them any excuse. We will go there, said Rajewal.

Earlier on Monday, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, a farmers' body in Punjab, decided not to attend the meeting called by the Union Agriculture Department on October 14.

The farmers' organisations, whose agitation against the laws has disrupted rail traffic and severely impacted coal supply to thermal power plants in Punjab, had last week rejected the Centre's invitation to participate in a "conference to address their concerns" on October 8.

BKU (Dakaunda) president Buta Singh Burjgill said their statewide agitation, including the "rail roko" stir, will continue.

We will decide the future course of action at a meeting on October 15, said Burjgill.

Earlier, the state government had appealed to farmers to ease their "rail roko" agitation, saying it needed to urgently transport foodgrain, coal, fertilisers and petroleum on a priority besides lifting paddy grain from the mandis.

Farmers had given an ultimatum to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to convene a special session of the assembly to pass a resolution to reject the farm-related laws.

They had threatened to gherao Congress leaders and government representatives if the demand was not met.

Punjab minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, who met farmers' representatives here, said the state cabinet will decide about the special assembly session on Wednesday.

Farmers in Punjab have been demanding that the three laws passed by Parliament recently be repealed.

Besides blocking rail tracks, farmers have laid siege to fuel pumps and shopping malls of some corporates. They staged sit-ins outside the residences of several BJP leaders.

Farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws will pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.

The government, however, has been saying that the laws passed by Parliament recently amid a vociferous protest will raise farmers' income, free them from the clutches of the middlemen and usher in new technology in farming.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, October 13 2020. 20:04 IST