Friday 31 March 2023

The farmer movement in India; Meeting with government canceled

|| TheAgriculturist

Published: 08:42, 10 December 2020   Update: 08:45, 10 December 2020
The farmer movement in India; Meeting with government canceled

Farmers have been protesting in India recently demanding the repeal of the controversial agricultural law. Indian Home Minister Amit Shah held direct talks with the farmers on Tuesday (December 8) evening to resolve the issue. However, the talks failed as no solution was found. As the government did not agree to repeal the three controversial laws, the peasant leaders were adamant.

As a result, a meeting of farmers' leaders with Modi government ministers was canceled on Wednesday (December 9th). It is learned that the government will send a letter with a proposal by 11 am on Wednesday. After that, the leaders of the farmers' organization will hold a meeting at 12 noon at the Singhu border.

Krishak Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah said, “The government has been saying the same thing over and over again in the last five meetings. We told Amit Shah to say something new. What is the benefit of saying the same thing? Let's see what the government offers in writing. Whether we attend the next meeting or not will be decided tomorrow. However, it is less likely.

The Modi government had earlier indicated that it would agree to amend the law to allow farmers to go to court against corporates in disputes over contract farming, registration of traders before purchasing crops, equal taxes in markets outside the APMC. The government is also ready to guarantee MSP for buying government crops. But the peasant leaders rejected the proposal in the previous meeting. They are adamant in demanding the repeal of those three agricultural laws.

Prior to the meeting, however, the farmers' leaders said they wanted to hear only "yes" or "no" from the home minister on whether the demand to repeal the three agricultural laws, ensure a minimum support price for crops or MSP would be met.

The sudden meeting of Home Minister Amit Shah with the farmers also sparked controversy. Leaders of farmers' organizations are worried about whether the government is trying to break their unity. However, many leaders did not agree to attend the meeting at the Shah's residence. The meeting was held at the guest house of the Pulsar Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The peasant leaders were taken there from the residence of the Home Minister.

At first, the peasant movement was confined to Punjab, but a couple of weeks ago it reached the capital, Delhi. Thousands of farmers are also protesting on the Delhi-Punjab and Delhi-Haryana borders. Farmers from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh also joined the protest in groups.