Punjab farmers tear farm laws copies, raise slogans after Modi’s minister skips key meeting

Farmers protest over the farm reform bills in Punjab. 

Farmers protest over the farm reform payments in Punjab. 

A meeting between protesting farmers’ teams from Punjab over the farm laws and the Centre ended abruptly on Wednesday as Union Minister for Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar, did not flip up. The Centre had known as the meeting with as many as 30 farmers’ teams to debate their considerations over the three farm laws which might be on the centre of protest. 

Today’s meeting was convened on the Krishi Bhavan within the nationwide capital amid police safety to keep away from any protest. It was attended by the agriculture secretary, however the farmers demanded the presence of the minister, a PTI report mentioned.

Upset over Tomar’s absence, the farmers began elevating slogans contained in the ministry and tore up copies of the farm laws. They additionally mentioned their agitation towards the brand new laws will proceed, including that the federal government is enjoying double requirements with no minister current to listen to them out.

Representatives from 29 farmers’ organisations, together with Joginder Singh-led Bharati Kissan Union, have been miffed on the absence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Agriculture within the meeting.

After the meeting, agitated farmers’ representatives have been seen shouting slogans and tearing copies of recent farm laws exterior Krishi Bhavan. More than 30 representatives, who had are available a bus, have been principally senior residents however had not even worn face masks regardless of 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, informed PTI after the meeting.

Since there was no response from Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal, who was chairing the meeting, farmers’ organisations determined to boycott the meeting, he mentioned.

“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 additionally heads the Krantikari Kisan Union Punjab, added.

Harjinder Singh from Ajad Kisan Sangathan mentioned, “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 elucidate that the brand new laws are good and can yield good leads to future, he mentioned.

“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 illustration made to the federal government has demanded the repeal of the latest farm laws, legally guarantee minimal assist worth (MSP) for crops and the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission suggestions amongst others.

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana and different states are protesting towards new farm laws which they really feel will result in procurement within the fingers of corporates and the top of MSP.

“In the meeting, only the agriculture secretary was present for holding talks with us even though farmers were assured that the Central government would talk to them,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) president Buta Singh Burjgill informed PTI over the cellphone. “When we asked the secretary to whom he wanted us to talk to, he had no answer,” mentioned Burgill.

“We said we wanted to hold talks with those who framed laws. We are here for table talks with Cabinet-rank ministers but they do not have time for us,” mentioned BKU (Kadiyan) president Harmeet Singh.

Burjgill mentioned he informed the agriculture secretary that “on one side, you have called us for the meeting here and on the other, several union ministers have been holding rallies and doing propaganda in Punjab. These are double standards”. “Thereafter, we boycotted the meeting,” mentioned Burgill.

Eight union ministers together with Hardeep Singh Puri have been deputed to carry digital rallies over eight days from October 13 onwards to “address apprehensions” of farmers in Punjab. Union minister of state for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary held a virtual meeting on Wednesday with farmers of Sangrur and Barnala districts.

Farmers, however, submitted their charter of demands including scrapping new farm laws. Farmers said they would announce their next course of action on October 15 in a meeting in Chandigarh. Farmers in Punjab have been demanding the repeal of the three laws passed by Parliament recently.

Besides blocking rail tracks, farmers have laid siege to toll plazas, fuel pumps, shopping malls of some corporates and staged sit-in 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. The central ministers are also reaching out to farmers, scientists and agricultural professionals in Congress-ruled Punjab to clear misgivings about new farm laws.

With PTI Inputs

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