Farmers Protest: Govt to Hold Talks Today

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The Union government has invited farmers’ representatives for the next round of discussions on Tuesday (December 1), as farmers protesting a set of laws enacted recently to liberalize the farm sector intensified their agitation.

The next round of talks was originally scheduled for December 3. The decision to advance the talks came after home minister Amit Shah and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar met twice in a span of 24 hours on Monday to discuss course of action.

Thousands of farmers, who are marching from various states toward the national capital to protest against new farm legislation threatened to block all entry points to New Delhi, demanding a repeal of three farm laws.

Narendra Singh Tomar while speaking to media on Monday evening said, “We decided to conduct next round of talks on December 3 as discussed in the last meeting held on November 13. However, farmers have continued their protests and with the Covid situation and the cold wave, we decided that we needed to talk before December 3.”

The discussions will be held at the capital’s Vigyan Bhawan at 3 pm. The agriculture ministry has prepared a fresh set of presentations and videos on the farm reforms, an official said. The government is expected to have a few economists from the Niti Aayog to join the discussions.

“We have not closed our doors for discussions. The talks should be without any condition, sincere and inclusive. We are not interested in going left or right, we are saying ‘repeal these laws’. At least, the government should make clear that it will rethink the laws,” said Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India, one of the leaders spearheading the farmers’ agitation.

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