You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

No minister present, Punjab farmers boycott meeting on new farm laws

Farmers' groups from Punjab boycotted a meeting called by agriculture ministry to resolve their concerns over new farm laws, and accused the government of playing double standards

Topics
Agriculture ministry | farmers

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

punjab farmers
Protesting Punjab farmer organisations have decided to hold talks with the Centre over the new farm laws on Wednesday Photo: PTI

Farmers' organisations from Punjab on Wednesday boycotted a meeting called by the Union to resolve their concerns over new farm laws, and accused the government of playing double standards with no minister present to hear them out.

Representatives from 29 farmers' organisations, including Joginder Singh-led Bharati Kissan Union, were miffed at the absence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Agriculture in the meeting.

The meeting was convened at the Krishi Bhavan amid police security to avoid any protest. After the meeting, agitated farmers' representatives were seen shouting slogans and tearing copies of new farm laws outside Krishi Bhavan.

More than 30 representatives, who had come in a bus, were mostly senior citizens but had not even worn face masks despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"No proper discussion took place. Neither Union agriculture minister nor junior ministers were present to hear our concerns. We asked why the minister is not meeting us, why the government is playing double standards by calling us here and ministers holding virtual meetings in Punjab. There was no proper response," Darshan Pal, member of the coordination committee of 29 farmers' organisations, told PTI after the meeting.

Since there was no response from Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal, who was chairing the meeting, farmers' organisations decided to boycott the meeting, he said.

"BJP leaders are holding virtual meetings in Punjab and talking against us. We are called to Delhi and no minister wants to listen to us," Pal, who also heads the Krantikari Kisan Union Punjab, added.

Harjinder Singh from Ajad Kisan Sangathana said, "The agriculture secretary had invited us to take our feedback on the new farm laws. We thought the agriculture minister would be there, but only the secretary was present."

The secretary tried to explain that the new laws are good and will yield good results in future, he said.

"We knew the secretary had no authority and there is no point discussing it with him. We decided to boycott," he added.

Bharati Kissan Union State President Joginder Singh in a representative made to the government has demanded repeal of the recent farm laws, legally ensure minimum support price (MSP) for crops, implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission among others.

in Punjab and Haryana and other states are protesting against new farm laws which they feel will lead to procurement in the hands of corporates and the end of MSP.

Meanwhile, the central ministers are reaching out farmers, scientists and agri professionals in Congress-ruled Punjab to clear misgivings about new farm laws.

(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.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, October 14 2020. 17:20 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.